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Avoidance and environmental changes

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Updated: 1/14/2003 2:29 pm
Did you know that limiting exposure to things that trigger allergies, or allergens (AL-er-gins), in your environment can help you manage your allergy symptoms? Though you might find avoidance inconvenient at times, this method is inexpensive and effective and has no side effects like some medications can. To reduce allergic reactions, try to stay inside when pollen counts are high. Keep your windows closed in the car and at home. Run the air conditioner instead. If you must mow the lawn, wear a mask. Wraparound sunglasses or goggles will help protect your eyes from allergens. Dust mites trigger allergic responses in many people. To reduce dust mite allergen levels, wash all bed lines every one to two weeks. Unwashable linens can be covered in allergy-proof casings and dry cleaned. Monitor and minimize the humidity level in your house; dust mites thrive in humid conditions. If you have pets in the house, keep them outside as much as possible; if pets remain inside, keep them out of the bedrooms. Remove as much carpeting from the house as possible. Wash your pet and your pet's bedding weekly to remove surface allergens. For more information on how to avoid allergens in your environment, call a health care provider who specializes in allergies.

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