The first objective in treatment of allergic disorders is to eliminate allergen from the environment to which the allergic patient exists. The following suggestions are useful in providing an environment in your living quarters that will be as free of allergen(s) as possible.
VACUUM CLEANING: Vacuum frequently, particularly in the bedroom. Do not forget your mattress: it's a common place for dust to collect. Note that most all vacuum cleaner manufacturers now sell collection bags for their vacuum cleaners that have built in micron filters to retain allergens in the bag. These bags are usually labeled "For Allergy Sufferers," and are much more efficient in preventing allergens from escaping through the bag into the vacuum cleaner's exhaust than is the case for the regular bags sold.
CIGARETTE AND CIGAR SMOKE: Eliminate your exposure to cigarette or cigar smoke. Ask visitors to your living quarters to refrain from smoking; avoid smoke-filled public places.
AIR CONDITIONERS: Be sure that the filter on your air conditioning unit is clean and free of mold growth. You may want to use a room air filter or electrostatic air purifier--especially in your bedroom--to keep the air you breathe as clean and free of allergens as possible. Remember that the use of fans in your bedroom can stir up allergens and promote allergic reactions.
PILLOWS AND MATTRESSES: Use DacronŽ or foam pillows instead of goose down; wash them frequently. If you do not have a hypoallergenic pillow or mattress, buy plastic encasements for those you have and seal them within these encasements.
HOUSE PLANTS: Leave plants in the garden. If you must have house plants, keep them out of the bedroom and keep their leaves clean. Remember that soils used for growing plants must be watered, and that mold and fungi grow in moist soil.
DAMP AREAS: Damp areas in your home (shower stalls, basements, window sills) should be regularly washed to reduce mold growth. Use a dilute solution (1:10) of bleach. Be sure that you wash with bleach in the presence of adequate ventilation, and use rubber gloves to protect your hands from the oxidative action of the bleach.
ROOM HUMIDIFICATION: Use a humidifier to keep the humidity in your living quarters between 35-50%. This is ideal humidification for allergy sufferers. Make sure you wash the humidifier regularly to prevent mold growth.
DUST COLLECTORS: Remove "dust collectors" such as rugs, drapes, stuffed furniture, stored blankets, woolens, and stuffed toys from your bedroom. Do not change clothes that you have work outside in your bedroom. Keep outside clothes in a room other than your bedroom.
PETS: If you are allergic to dogs, cats or other pets, remove them from your living quarters. Avoid animals that you are allergic to as much as possible when visiting friends or relatives.
BEDROOM VENTILATION AT NIGHT: Since many pollens are released in the early morning hours (2-4 am), keep bedroom windows closed to prevent their entry at night. If you live in your own home, do not store firewood near your bedroom windows. Stored wood tends to accumulate molds whose spores are often allergenic. Similarly, plants t which you are allergic should not be grown near your bedroom windows.
TIME INDOORS: Remember that a good part of the time you spend in your living quarters is spent in the bedroom sleeping. Therefore, keep the bedroom as your cleanest room.
REMEMBER: THE BEST TREATMENT FOR ALLERGIES IS THE REMOVAL OF ALLERGENS FROM YOUR ENVIRONMENT. THE MORE SUCCESSFUL YOU ARE AT DOING THIS, THE MORE SUCCESSFUL YOU WILL BE IN AVOIDING THE USE OF DRUGS AND MEDICATIONS!