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How can I Address Allergies Around the Home?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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For people who suffer from allergies, the home is sometimes regarded as a safe sanctuary from the outside world. However, the home can provide many sources of allergens which are often not properly addressed. There are several steps which can be taken to address allergies around the house that will improve the quality of life for allergy sufferers. Some steps are simple, while others may require investment of time or money. Depending on the severity of the allergy, some of these steps may not be necessary.

The first thing to address is overall cleanliness. Allergies can be aggravated by dust, pet dander, and plant material. If severe allergies are an issue, the purchase of a filtration system might be considered. A filtration system circulates air through the house, removing impurities and releasing fresh, clean air. The impurities collected on a filter which must be periodically replaced. Other steps for cleanliness include frequent wiping down of household surfaces, as well as vacuuming and mopping on a regular basis. Ideally, someone without allergies should perform the cleaning tasks.

A common cause of allergies is carpeting. Carpeting collects dust and mold spores. The underlayer of carpeting is often thick with mold and other allergens. If possible, carpeting should be removed and replaced with easy to clean surfaces like stone, wood, concrete, or tile. If replacement of the carpeting is not practical, special care should be taken to make sure that the carpet is kept clean, including the use of a vacuum with a filtration system.

Unfortunately, gardening can also aggravate allergies. Try to plan out the household garden so that the plants close to windows and doors do not carry pollen and spores into the home. Outdoor plant material may also be out of your control, in which case window screens should be used. In allergy season, the doors and windows of the house should be kept closed as much as possible. Indoor plants should be allergy neutral as well.

Some people experience allergic reactions to soaps and cleaners. Hypoallergenic soaps, cleaners, and bedding are available. It may require several washings of clothing and sheets for the source of a rash to go away, but this is a less costly option than replacement. Make sure to stay away from scented products. Use hypoallergenic shampoos and body soaps when bathing as well.

Allergies can also be caused by interaction with animals. In most cases, common sense precautions will minimize allergy problems, and it is not necessary to live a life without animals. Reactions to pets can be reduced by the use of specialized shampoos, and animals should be kept out of the bedrooms of people with allergies. Frequent brushing will also remove sources of dander and hair which might cause distress.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By GreenWeaver — On Oct 16, 2010

Latte31-My husband has cat allergies and every time he touches a cat he has to wash his hands.

I also wanted to say that we have a hepa filter and it is great because it moves small particles and filters the air so you breathe cleaner air.

We got our heap filter at Target for like $40. I also like the idea of getting rid of the carpet. I removed the carpeting in my home and replaced it with hardwood floors and I can tell the difference.

Both the hepa filter and removing the carpeting were the best things we did. I still have momentary episodes especially at the start of the season in the spring, but it is much milder now.

By mutsy — On Oct 16, 2010

Moldova-Sometimes skin allergies occur in children with grass allergies.My daughter has grass allergies and every time she touches any grass or a plant she starts to develop skin allergies.

She gets these red splotches all over that itch. I usually get a prescription for Zyrtec which is incredible.

The spots disappeared almost immediately. It does make children drowsy so, I usually wait until a little before bedtime to give it to her.

Sometimes it is a good idea to get a hepa filter for treating allergies. Also if you have pets it is best to brush their hair everyday so that you can keep shedding to a minimum. Keeping the house clean and free of dust and removing carpeting should help anyone with sinus allergies.

By Moldova — On Oct 16, 2010

Treating allergies can be done by taking the drug Claritin. Claritin clears most allergies symptoms like itchy eyes, watery nose, and an overall lack of energy that often results from seasonal allergies.

Sometimes if allergies are significant, a doctor can perform a series of shots to determine and isolate which foods or things you are allergic to.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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