One of the most important parts of allergy management is to avoid allergens, the substances that cause the allergic reaction. Find out what you can do to reduce your exposure to the following allergens.

Allergy proofing against pets

Animal 'dander' can stay in carpets and furniture for 4-6 weeks and remain in the air for months after animal leaves.

  • Keep pets out of bedroom
  • Brush pet outside the house to remove loose hair and allergens
  • Keep the pet outside as much as possible
  • Have non-allergic person wash pet at least once a week to control dander
  • Install an air cleaner in the house

Allergy proofing against dust

Dust is caused mostly by dust mites. Dust may also contain fabric fibers, lint, feathers, bacteria, mould and fungus.

  • Wash bedding (i.e., sheets, blankets, pillows) in hot water at least once a week
  • Vacuum floors at least weekly
  • Clean surfaces with a damp cloth at least weekly
  • Don't use carpets, or use carpets with low pile
  • Keep humidity in house low; use a de-humidifier if necessary
  • Use shades instead of blinds

Allergy proofing against mould

Mould may be contained in damp basements, closets, bathrooms and upholstered furniture, to name a few.

  • Make sure damp areas of house (e.g., basement, bathroom) are clean
  • Keep humidity in house below 50% to reduce mould growth
  • Dry sheets and clothing in a vented dryer, as mould may collect if hung outside to dry
  • Refrain from walking in uncut fields, working with compost or dry soil and raking leaves

Allergy proofing against pollen

Flowers, grasses and trees are the most common sources of pollen that cause allergies.

  • Use an air conditioner and keep the doors and windows shut as much as possible
  • Vacation in areas where pollen counts are low
  • Limit outdoor activities when pollen counts are high
  • Bathe or shower, and change clothes after outdoor allergy season activity
  • Dry clothes in a vented dryer instead of outside

Allergy proofing against smoke

Environmental factors such as tobacco and wood smoke can trigger allergies.

  • Keep house smoke-free
  • Avoid areas where smoking is allowed
  • Encourage family members and/or caregivers to quit smoking
  • Use airtight stove/fireplaces if wood must be burned