Allergic Rhinitis: Avoidance
This is a very basic aspect of allergy treatment, but can be especially important depending on the type of allergy, and particularly if the patient also suffers from asthma that has allergic triggers.
- House dust and dust mites: for those patients with dust allergies, limiting exposure is key. Covering pillows and mattresses with dust mite covers, and using an air purifier, especially in bedrooms, can accomplish this. Further recommendations include routine cleaning, use of allergy filters on furnaces, and professional ductwork cleaning. It may also be recommended that wherever possible, carpeting is limited throughout the home.
- Molds: molds as a group are plentiful throughout the environment, especially with wet weather. Leaving piles of wet grass clippings or leaves in the yard can promote mold growth around the home. Any type of water damage within the home can also be very problematic. Avoidance in this group consists mainly of thorough and timely cleanup of any situation that will lend itself to mold growth, whether indoors or out.
- Pets: avoidance of pets can often be particularly difficult, mainly because parting with them is frequently not an option. However, limiting them to certain areas of the house can be helpful, and in particular, keeping them out of bedrooms is best. Again, use of proper furnace filters as well as air purifiers may be recommended. For those patients with asthma who are also allergic to cats, limited exposure may not be enough to keep asthma flares in check.
- Pollens: these include tree, grass, and weed pollens, and can be the most difficult to avoid as they are plentiful during each of their seasons. It is recommended, however, that patients avoid sleeping with windows open, driving with car windows down, and avoiding hanging laundry to dry outdoors.