Once you and your allergist have determined what triggers your allergies, it is best to reduce your exposure as much as possible. Oftentimes, a decreased exposure can eliminate or decrease the allergic reaction to a point where treatment may not be necessary. On the other hand, there are some allergens, such as pollen, that you can simply not completely avoid. If it is a food allergy, then it is best to know alternative names to the ingredient that you are allergic to and check packaging to ensure it is not in the food.
Pollen is nearly impossible to avoid completely, but there are some steps you can take to decrease your exposure to pollen. Before you go outside, you will want to check the pollen count. If the pollen counts are high, then it is best to stay inside if possible, or begin taking medications before symptoms begin. Try to plan time outside when pollen counts are low, or when it is not windy. Wearing a scarf in your hair or sunglasses can also help decrease your exposure to pollen. When you get inside, take a shower to get any pollen out of your hair and skin and change into new clothes. You can also keep your window closed, change bedsheets often, and mow regularly to keep your home pollen-free.
Since most of our time is spent in the bedroom, you can begin by putting your mattress and box spring into an allergen-proof cover. You will also want to change your bedding once a week. In your closets, keep clothes in garment bags or plastic storage containers. Take carpeting out of your home. Install a HEPA filter into your vacuum to avoid the dust from the carpet being reintroduced into the air.
Mold needs moisture to grow, so keep your home as cool and dry as possible is the key. Use a dehumidifier and keep the air conditioner on. If you see mold, be sure to scrub it with bleach. Keep up with regular housecleaning in the laundry room, kitchen, and bathrooms too.
Do not allow pets in the bedroom, since this is where most of the time is spent. Eliminating carpet and rugs in the home will also cut down on the amount of pet dander. Since most people are not actually allergic to the fur of the animal, but their dander instead, get the pet groomed regularly.
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