A thorough clean-up can stop the sneezing and wheezing.
If you have allergies, there's no question that limiting exposure to dust mites, pet dander, molds, pollen, and other triggers can reduce your symptoms. But it can be overwhelming and virtually impossible to allergy-proof your entire house. Start by focusing on the bedroom, since that's where you spend the most time. Follow these guidelines:
- Dust regularly, and use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
- Place plastic coverings on pillows, mattresses, and box springs to discourage dust-mite proliferation. Wash linens weekly in hot water.
- Bare floors are preferable to carpeting. Opt for leather, wood, and vinyl instead of upholstered furniture.
- Use dehumidifiers to keep humidity below 50 percent to prevent mold growth.
- If you can't part with your pet, keep him outdoors as much as possible and out of the bedroom.
- Keep windows shut during pollen season and use HEPA filters over air vents.
- Do not allow tobacco smoke in your house.
- Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal magazine, June 2001.
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