Here, from various sources, are some tips for tackling those allergens:
– Don’t allow dander producing animals such as dogs and cats in the home, or at least restrict them to rooms without upholstered furniture and other heavy fabrics.
– Wash all bedding weekly in hot water (at least 130-140 degrees). Buy zippered, allergen-proof coverings for your mattresses, pillows and box springs.
– Remove thick carpeting and drapes, replacing heavy drapes with shades or washable curtains.
– Vacuuming at least weekly, more often if you have pets; keeping your windows closed and using your air conditioner often. Vacuum your bedroom daily during allergy season. Discard old rugs and pillows.
– Store books and magazines in enclosed bookcases or sealed boxes.
– Change the air filters monthly in heating and air conditioning systems and have a professional contractor clean them at least once or twice a year. Install portable air cleaners or dehumidifiers. Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity around 45 percent. Consider using a humidifier in the winter as dry, indoor heat aggravates many allergic people, but beware of possible mold growth in the humidifier.
– If you’re allergic to grass, it’s best to keep your lawn well-trimmed because high grass produces more pollen. You should avoid mowing it yourself, but if you must, visit a hardware store and invest 25 cents in a paper dust mask.
– If you like to exercise outdoors and are sensitive to pollen, you probably already know that pollen counts are highest in the morning. The standard advice is to do your outdoor workouts later in the day.
– Wash everything that accumulates mold and mildew, but use chlorine, not ammonia or petrochemicals, which can aggravate allergies.
– Use antihistamines and decongestants as necessary and as tolerated. Natural-medicine therapies include extra vitamins A, B-6 and C, calcium and iron-rich foods.
– Keep windows and doors closed during heavy pollination seasons.
– Rid the home of indoor plants and other sources of mildew.
– Change feather pillows, woolen blankets and woolen clothing to cotton or synthetic materials.
– Sleep with the head of the bed tilted upwards. A brick or two placed under bedposts at the head of the bed helps relieve nasal congestion.
– Observe general good health practices: exercise daily, stop smoking, avoid other air pollutants, eat a balanced diet, and supplement diet with vitamins, especially C.