Education Articles

How to Live With It All

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Living with allergies can be miserable for those who suffer from them. Use these tips to improve the quality of your life and health.

  • Avoid areas with freshly cut grass.
  • Avoid irritants such as perfumes, colognes, hairsprays and cigarette smoke which can aggravate allergy symptoms.
  • Minimize outdoor activity between 5:00 am and 1:00 pm when pollen levels are highest.
  • Wear a face mask on sunny, windy days if you must work outdoors.
  • Check newspaper, local news coverage, pollen hotlines or the internet daily for current pollen counts and fluctuations predicted by weather changes.
  • Close windows and use air conditioning to reduce the amount of allergens entering your home.
  • Avoid activities such as raking leaves, mowing the lawn, and gardening when feeling reactive.
  • When gardening, digging in the soil or working with moldy leaves or grass cuttings, wear gloves.
  • Avoid places where mold tends to flourish (damp basements and closets, compost piles, moist and shady areas, barns, dairies, and greenhouses).
  • After outdoor activity during high pollen and mold counts, change all clothing, shower and shampoo hair, irrigate nose and sinuses with nasal saline to remove all pollen and mold spores from nasal mucosa.
  • Remove dust “magnets” from your bedroom (wall to wall carpets, venetian blinds, down filled comforters, feather pillows, stuffed animals, and throw pillows).
  • Keep bedding encased in a zippered, airtight dust proof cover.
  • Vacuum often and perform household dusting frequently with a damp cloth or one of the new electrostatic disposable cleaning cloths.
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom; restrict them from furniture that you sit in.
  • If you are allergic to animal dander, bathe pets weekly and brush them daily.
  • Add an air cleaning device to the bedroom that has a HEPA filter in it and run it 24 hours a day with the bedroom door closed.
  • Sunlight destroys dust mites. In the summer (providing you are not pollen sensitive too), put your blankets and mattresses out in the sun if possible. Dry sheets and pillowcases out in the sunshine or in a hot dryer.
  • Put children’s favorite stuffed animals in the freezer for several hours to kill the dust mites.
  • Vacuum daily, using a high efficiency filter bags. Don’t forget the upholstery.
  • Wash or dry clean curtains or draperies. Vacuum blinds.
  • Hang clothes in the closet, don’t accumulate on the floor!
  • Dehumidifiers can reduce the dust mite population. They tend to flourish in humid conditions.
  • Take a vacation from your allergies! Plan to get away from home when the pollen(s) you have the most difficulty with are in high season at home. Go where you can get a break. Go to the seashore where the incoming breezes come off the water. No Pollen!

Obtain more allergen avoidance information from your allergist. For some patients, allergy medications offer sufficient relief, for others it takes a combination of medications, avoidance of allergens and sometimes immunotherapy as well. You and your doctor can decide the best way to treat your allergies.

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