1. Close the doors and windows all the time. If you are in a car, roll up the windows and close the vents to prevent outside air coming in.
2. Avoid exposure to cigarette or cigar smoke. Ask visitors in your home to refrain from smoking. Avoid smoke-filled public places.
3. Keep cats and dogs outdoors. If they have to stay indoors, at least keep them out of the bedroom all the time, whether you are there or not. Bathe them weekly. Cat antigens can stay active up to 9 months, after the cat it gone.
4. No pets should be allowed in the bedroom.
5. Leave plants in the backyard. If you must have houseplants, keep them out of the bedroom, and keep the leaves clean.
6. Have artificial Christmas trees. If you must have a natural tree, then get it as close to Christmas as possible and have it hauled off immediately after the holidays.
7. Remove "dust collectors" such as rugs, drapes, stuffed furniture, stored blankets, and woolens from your bedroom.
8. Stuffed animals on the bed should either be washed weekly or wrapped in a plastic bad and kept in the freezer overnight to kill the dust mites.
9. Use foam pillows instead of goose down, and wash them frequently. If you are used to a down pillow and are not comfortable using a foam pillow, then get dust proof casings for these pillows and have regular pillow covers over them.
10.Hardwood floors without the area rugs are the best for allergy sufferers. Carpet padding is a rich source of dust and mold spores.
11. Use the air conditioner and make sure the filter is clean. Keep the fan running all the time. Electrostatic air filters for central heat and air units would help some. These reusable air filters should be washed at regular intervals.
12. Vacuum frequently, particularly in the bedroom twice a week. Do not forget the mattress and the furniture. If you have allergies, preferably someone else should do this. If you have to do it, then wear a mask. It takes about ½ hour for the dust to settle. Either do one room at a time or leave the house immediately after vacuuming.
13. Regularly wash damp areas of your home, such as shower stalls and window sills twice a month with a bleach containing cleaner like Tilex or Clorox to reduce the molds.
14. In the winters, use a vaporizer to keep the humidity in your home between 35% and 50% which is the ideal for allergy sufferers. Make sure that water is emptied and the container cleaned regularly, to prevent mold growth.
15. If you have to work in the garden or mow the yard, wear a mask, and take a shower immediately afterwards. Change the clothes and wash them before washing them again.
16. Pollen counts are high at dawn and dusk. Avoid being outside at these times.
17. If you are extremely allergic to dust mites, consider getting dust proof casings for your mattress, box spring, and all the pillows on your bed. Get the cotton lined ones for the mattress and pillows, and the cheaper one for the box springs. Cover the zipper with masking tape.
The following are some of the places you can buy the items mentioned above :
Electrostatic filters (HEPA filter): Wal-mart, Home Depot, Lowes, or Air Free 755-8611.
Dust proof casings: Allergy Control products 1-800-422-3878, Sears, Vitaire 1-800-552-5533