Allergy Treatment Begins at Home

Allergy treatment facts

  • Avoidance is always the best treatment for allergies.
  • There are many easy cleaning methods that can significantly decrease allergies.
  • Controlling the air quality and climate of your home can bring you tremendous health benefits.
  • If you are going to keep a pet that is a source of allergies, there are measures that you can take to optimize your home environment.

Introduction

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Avoidance is always the best treatment for allergies regardless of which allergens are the triggers. Interestingly enough, the most effective, least expensive, and simplest options are not always followed. Many people choose medications or vaccinations instead, despite their drawbacks. Fortunately, there are lots of simple methods, both old and new, to help with avoidance. Remember, putting into practice any of these measures can only be helpful in managing your allergies.

The good news is that you really don't have to strip your house down to the bare bones to make it allergy proof. Thorough and regular cleaning generally makes a huge difference in keeping your house as mold and dust free as possible. Patients with asthma or allergic rhinitis that are due to dust mites, molds, or other indoor allergens can feel better by taking these simple measures:

  • Keep the home cool (between 68 and 72 degrees F);
  • Maintain a low humidity (between 40 and 50%); and
  • Make certain there is good ventilation.

When patients get started with the process of "allergy-proofing" their homes, one of two things usually happens. They either do nothing or "overdo it." Some patients become so overwhelmed with all the different methods of allergy-proofing that they simply do nothing. That's always a disappointing outcome, especially when the process is so straightforward and inexpensive. Just focusing on the basics of a routine and thorough cleaning and temperature and humidity reduction can lead to fewer symptoms and a vastly improved quality of life.

Sometimes, the opposite occurs. The allergy-proofing process becomes all consuming and inordinately expensive. Overpriced and often inefficient whole-house filtration devices are installed when simple cleaning and reduction of humidity and temperature would have been adequate. Clearly, there are situations in which extreme measures need to be undertaken. Before going down this path, however, it's best to consult with your doctor. Start with the easy things first.

The next section will describe the best steps to take in allergy-proofing your home. Always take a calculated approach, stepping up the process as needed for certain problems. First, we will focus on the best ways to clean and in the second part, on the available technologies.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/16/2014

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Allergy Treatment at Home - Prevention Question: Does anyone in your household have allergies? Please share tips for preventing allergies in your home.
Is there a link between allergies and air pollution?

Air Pollution and Allergies: A Connection?

Medical Author: Alan Szeftel, MD, FCCP
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Does the "air we breathe" have an impact on the rising incidence of allergies and asthma? Hay feverwas rare in Japan before World War II. However, pollen allergy is now common and mostly affects those living in Japanese cities and near highways. Allergic disease is also more common in highly developed countries in North America and Europe and less common in Third World countries. This suggests that there must be something about modern, urban life that promotes allergy. Let us examine the impact of air pollution.

By far the most important indoor pollutant is tobaccosmoke, which is strongly associated with allergic sensitization, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses. Exposure to smoke results in the body's enhanced ability to produce IgE(the allergy antibody) that attaches to allergens (e.g. pollen, dust mites and dander). The IgE response is a key trigger of allergic reactions.

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