Allergy Relief Tips
Managing allergies generally consists of balancing two things - control of the allergy symptoms by using drugs or natural remedies and avoiding the substances that trigger the allergic response. Your doctor will guide your medication plan, but you can avoid your allergy triggers and find relief yourself by using our list of top tips for managing your allergen exposure.
Reduce Indoor Air Pollution: Breathe Easier
Indoor air is generally 2 to 5 times more polluted than the outside air. Since the average American spends 90% of their time indoors, managing your indoor environment is a safe and effective alternative to medications for controlling your allergies.
Before starting any new strategy, know your triggers. Your doctor will help to pinpoint your specific allergy triggers. Once you know what they are, you can get take the most effective steps to control the specific allergens that affect you.
Our top tips to minimize exposure to indoor allergens:
- Close your windows. It may be tempting to roll down your car window or open the windows at home on a beautiful day, but doing so may allow allergens inside that cause unwanted symptoms. Keeping yours windows closed and using your car's re-circulation mode can keep allergens from getting inside.
Clear the air. A high quality air purifier can remove up to 99.97% of airborne particles; they are an effective tool in managing your allergen exposure. Not all air purifiers are created equally. At Air Purifiers America, our air purifier experts have researched, tested and chosen the top products from hundreds of air purifiers. Whatever your concern, you can buy with confidence knowing that we carry only the most effective HEPA air purifiers.
> See our Top Air Purifiers for Allergies
- Wash it off. If you're working or exercising outside remove your shoes before entering your home, take a shower and change your clothes as soon as you come inside to help remove any pollen you may have picked up along the way.
- Know the pollen counts. Check daily pollen counts for your local area at www.aaaai.org. When pollen counts are high, plan or re-schedule outdoor activities, if possible. If working outside, consider wearing a dust mask and sunglasses to decrease your exposure to pollen.
- Change HVAC filters regularly and choose allergy filters. A good HVAC air filter with a MERV rating of 8 or higher can help capture and reduce the pollen that makes it indoors. MERV ratings are the standard used to measure a filter's efficiency; the higher the rating, the fewer airborne particles that can pass through the filter.
- Dust once a week. Use a damp cloth and wear protective gloves and a dust mask while cleaning to reduce your exposure to dust and cleaning irritants. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and run your HEPA air purifier on high while dusting to pick up any particles that are displaced and floating in the air.
- Reduce dust collectors in your home. Reduce the number of stuffed animals, wicker baskets, dried flowers, and clutter that can trap and collect dust. Replace your non-washable wool or feathered bedding and stuffed animals with synthetic materials and wash them regularly.
- Replace carpets in bedrooms with bare floors. Linoleum, tile, cement or wood are easier to clean and will not trap dust and dust mites. Use washable scatter rugs and cover windows with shades made of plastic or another material that you can wipe clean or remove and wash instead of fabric curtains.
- Encase your mattress and pillows in dust-proof covers. Allergy proof mattress, box spring, and pillowcase covers trap the allergens from dust mites, animal dander and pollen. When travelling, consider packing your mattress and pillow dust covers to keep you protected from allergy triggers even away from home.
Wash bedding once a week in hot water. A water temperature of at least 130°F to 140°F will kill dust mites on your bed linens and help ensure a great, allergy-free night's sleep.
> See our Top Air Purifiers for Dust
- Find and fix leaks. Check faucets, pipes, and duct work for wet areas inside your house, especially under plumbing fixtures, in the attic eaves, and in the basement. Fix leaks immediately. Mold will grow on any organic material that's wet for more than 72 hours.
- Eradicate mold. To kill mold use a respirator, rubber gloves that extend up your forearms, and safety goggles without ventilation holes; open all the windows; and scrub away the mold using a cleaner that contains bleach, or a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.
- Ventilate. This fungus thrives in damp, humid areas such as basements and bathrooms. Air out closed spaces such as closets and be sure to vent bathrooms and clothes dryers to the outside. When first turning on the air conditioner in your home or car, leave the room or drive with the windows open for several minutes to allow mold spores to disperse.
Find an air purifier and filter for mold issues. Not all air purifier filters are the same. Different filters are designed to combat specific allergens and air quality issues. Silver-infused air filters are especially effective at capturing and killing airborne microbes such as mold.
> See our Top Air Purifiers for Mold
- Restrict pets access in your home. Keep your pet out of bedrooms and confined to areas without carpets or upholstered furniture. Be sure to dust and vacuum often with a HEPA vacuum cleaner and damp cloth to trap as much pet dander as possible.
- Wash your hands. After playing with your pets, wash your hands well with warm soapy water to minimize the continued exposure to pet dander.
- Wash your pets weekly. Wash your dog and yes, your cat, once a week with soap and warm water to reduce airborne dander and pollen that clings to your pet after being outdoors.
Pet allergens linger. Remember that pet allergens linger in house dust for months after the pet is gone. As a result, allergy and asthma symptoms may take some time to subside.
> See our Top Air Purifiers for Pets
- Restrict smoking to outdoors. Ask family members and friends to smoke outdoors to protect allergy sufferers. Smoking should not be allowed in the homes or cars of people with asthma or allergies as it can trigger symptoms.
- Avoid campfire and fireplace smoke. Cigarette smoke is not the only smoke irritant that can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. Be sure to sit upwind and farther away from outdoor campfires. If building a fire in your home's fireplace, be sure the damper is open and do not sit close to the fire.
- Seek smoke-free environments. Many cities are now "smoke-free" and others are requiring smokers in indoor public spaces to smoke in designated areas only. Know and frequent the restaurants and businesses in your area that are smoke-free.
Clean your air. Consider an air purifier that is specialized for smoke removal. A high quality air purifier for smoke will remove the smoke from indoor air. We carry several air purifiers that effectively eliminate smoke particles using heavy carbon filters coupled with HEPA technology.
> See our Top Air Purifiers for Smoke