Allergy to mold - animal dander - dust - Prevention
Indoor allergies; Pet allergies; Dust allergies; Mold allergies; Animal dander allergy
Breastfeeding can help prevent and decrease allergies. There is also evidence that exposures to certain allergens in the first year of life may prevent some allergies.
Mold spores are everywhere. You can reduce your exposure to mold by following these steps:
- Keep rooms dry, and use a dehumidifier, if necessary.
- Throw out moldy or mildewed articles (such as books, toys, and shoes).
- Use synthetic fabrics for clothing and household furnishings whenever possible. Disinfect bathrooms, basement walls, and furniture with diluted bleach or other disinfectant solutions.
You can take several steps to limit exposure to dust mites.
- Wrap mattresses, box springs, and pillows with mite-proof covers.
- Wash bedding and pillows once a week in hot water (130° F to 140° F).
- If you can, get rid of upholstered furniture. Try to use wooden, leather, or vinyl.
- Keep indoor air dry. Try to keep the humidity level lower than 50%.
- Wipe dust with a damp cloth and vacuum once a week. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
- Replace wall-to-wall carpet with wood or other hard flooring.
- Keep stuffed toys off the beds, and wash them weekly.
- Replace slatted blinds and cloth draperies with pull-down shades. They will not collect as much dust.
- Keep closets clean, and keep closet doors closed.
Central heating and air-conditioning systems may be helpful, particularly if they include special filters to capture dust and animal dander. Change furnace filters frequently. Use of high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are most helpful in preventing mold exposures.
People who are allergic to animals may need to avoid keeping pets. If not, keep pets outside, if possible. If pets are allowed indoors, keep them out of bedrooms, off upholstered furniture, and off carpets. Frequent bathing and grooming of the pet (preferably by someone who is not allergic to the animal) may help.
Allergy to animals may also include wool, which may contain tiny amounts of dander (skin).
- Reviewed last on: 6/29/2010
- Paula J. Busse, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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Sheikh A, Hurwitz B, Shehata Y. House dust mite avoidance measures for perennial allergic rhinitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jan 24;(1):CD001563.
Wallace DV, Dykewicz MS, Bernstein DI, Blessing-Moore J, Cox L, Khan DA, et al. The diagnosis and management of rhinitis: an updated practice parameter. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Aug:122(2).
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