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How can I Cope with Indoor Allergies?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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People who live with indoor allergies often face unique challenges that are difficult for others to understand. When the allergic reaction is particularly acute, the allergy sufferer may experience an inability to breathe or develop symptoms so severe that hospitalization is necessary. If you suffer with indoor allergies, here are some ideas that may help to make your home more of a haven and less of a minefield that you have to navigate each day.

Many indoor allergies have to do with the presence of dust mites in the home. For this reason, it is important to keep the interior space as free of dust as possible. While taking allergy medications will help ease the symptoms, nothing beats a dust-free environment. Along with dusting furniture and knick-knacks, use a high quality vacuum cleaner to clear collected dust from the floors, especially the corners. Remember to dust in areas that many people overlook, such as the top sides of ceiling fan blades and upper shelves on bookcases.

If at all possible, remove items that tend to collect dust with great ease. This includes books and cornice boards over windows. If you are a homeowner, consider removing your wall to wall carpeting and install hardwood floors instead. For apartment dwellers, use a vacuum cleaner bag that is designed to trap dust mites. By simplifying the home and excluding as many dust collectors as possible from the décor, your indoor allergies will be irritated less often, and you will enjoy a more balanced sense of well being.

Dust mites also thrive in pillows and bedding. To ease indoor allergies, cover the pillows in some type of cover that prevents the mites from spreading each time your head rests on the pillow. While there is no way to prevent mites from collecting on pillowcases, sheets, and other bedding, it is possible to keep them at bay. Routinely wash the bedding in hot water; twice a week is considered reasonable, but weekly is acceptable.

As people with indoor allergies know only too well, opening windows to let in fresh air is out of the question. This means it is imperative to make sure the central heating and air system is in top working order. The ductwork should be cleaned regularly, and filters changed at least monthly. Since humidity helps to breed mold, consider installing a dehumidifier in the home as well.

Other strategies may be helpful, based on the specifics of your allergy diagnosis. When your physician is able to diagnose allergy conditions, he or she can often provide practical guidelines of how to deal with your condition that are relevant to your living arrangements, the local climate, and any other factors that could cause additional distress.

While these precautions are usually not enough to eliminate the need for allergy medicine, they can make living with indoor allergies less of a struggle. Depending on the severity of your condition, making these simple changes may be enough to allow your doctor to reduce the dosage of your allergy treatment and thus minimize the changes for any possible side effects. In any event, the combination of a relatively dust-free home and your medication will result in happier and healthier days around the house for you.

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.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGEEK, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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