Is there relief from allergies?
There is no complete cure for respiratory allergies, but there are things you can do to help manage symptoms, regardless of the time of year. This includes something called exposure reduction, which is exactly what it sounds like—reducing exposure to known allergic triggers:2
- Confine the pet to a room with a polished floor and furniture you can wipe down.
- Restrict the animal from the bedroom and keep him or her off the furniture.
- Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and vacuum cleaners.
- Wash your pet weekly in warm water and soap.
- Consider rehoming the pet or keeping it outdoors.
- Wash dishes.
- Keep food and garbage in closed containers; take out the garbage regularly.
- Don’t store paper bags, newspapers, or cardboard boxes in your home.
- Place bait traps or call a professional exterminator to eliminate cockroaches.
- Seal plumbing openings, cracks, and crevices.
- Encase mattresses, pillows, and box springs in allergen-proof coverings.
- Wash bedding weekly in water 130 F (54 C) or more.
- Vacuum and reduce clutter in the home.
- Wear an appropriate mask while cleaning and avoid the area for 20 minutes thereafter.
- Change furnace and air conditioner filters.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity in your home.
- Identify and clean moldy areas with fungicide or bleach.
- Use a dehumidifier to reduce humidity in your home.
- Fix water leaks.
- Clean furnace filters, the refrigerator, and the dehumidifier (clean drip pans with bleach).
- Dry clothes thoroughly before storing.
- Seal holes and cracks from the home to the outside.
- Seal passages through interior floors, walls, the ceiling, and gaps between the bottom of cabinetry or built-in furniture and the floor.
- Keep bushes and trees at least three feet from the home.
- Ensure trash is stored in secure containers.
- Store food in rodent-proof containers.
Of course, these management techniques work best when paired with proper testing to determine the allergens you are sensitized to. Once you know your allergies, your healthcare provider can work with you to create a tailored plan to help control your symptoms and put you on the path to year-round relief.