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Indoor Allergies

Learn about common indoor allergy triggers and find out how to help keep them in check, so you can enjoy your home year-round.

Your home should be a refuge. But for people with Indoor allergies, it can also be the source of allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and itchy, watery eyes. Indoor allergies can happen any time of the year. However, since many people spend more time inside during colder months, indoor allergies can be especially troublesome in the winter.

Select an allergy to learn more:

PET ALLERGIES
DUST ALLERGIES
MOLD ALLERGIES
INDOOR ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
  • Runny nose icon

    Runny Nose

  • Itchy, watery eyes icon

    Itchy, Watery Eyes

  • Sneezing icon

    Sneezing

  • Itchy nose or throat icon

    Itchy Nose or Throat

  • Nasal Congestion

Allergy testing by an allergist can help assess whether your symptoms are caused by dust mites, pet dander or mold.

Pet Allergies

Overview

If furry friends give you a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes, it's not their fur that causes the allergic reaction. It's the proteins found in the animal's dander (dead skin cells), saliva, or urine. These allergy-triggering particles are transported to the pet hair or fur, where we touch dogs and cats most often. These particles are so light they can be transported in the air and can be carried on your clothes and hair.

Tip icon
DID YOU KNOW?

Most people think of dogs and cats when it comes to pet allergies. But the allergy-causing proteins in pet dander can also be found in hamsters, rabbits, gerbils, guinea pigs and more.1

Tips for Pet Allergy Sufferers

HAVE A PLAN

Be aware of potential exposure to pets you may be allergic to. When visiting a friend's home, ask if they have pets in advance, so you can be prepared with allergy medicine should your allergy symptoms strike.

ESTABLISH PET-FREE AREAS

Keep pets out of your bedroom and consider keeping your pet in certain areas of the house.

RINSE AND REPEAT

If you have a pet, giving him or her regular baths can help reduce the allergen count on them.

WASH YOUR HANDS

After touching a pet, keep your hands away from your eyes until you've had a chance to wash them.

CHOOSE PETS WISELY

Cats may cause more allergy problems than dogs simply because they lick their fur or skin a lot, spreading the allergen from their saliva onto their bodies. But remember, even animals that don't shed can cause pet allergy symptoms. Fish, hermit crabs, iguanas and turtles make good choices as pets for allergy sufferers.

Dust Allergies

Overview

A common trigger for indoor allergies, dust mites are found in the dust particles that collect naturally around your home. These microscopic creatures live off our dead skin cells, hiding in household fabrics, such as pillows, mattresses, upholstered furniture, blankets and carpets.

Dust mites don’t drink water. Instead, they absorb water from the humidity in the air.2 This is why dust mites are more prevalent in humid areas of your home and during the summer months. However, if you live in a warmer, more humid climate, dust mites could be prevalent year-round.

Tip icon
DID YOU KNOW?

The average home may collect an estimated 40 pounds of dust each year.3

Tips for Dust Allergy Sufferers

REDUCE DUST BUNNIES

Wash all bedding and blankets once a week in hot water (at least 130°F). 4 Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter or double bag and dust with a damp sponge or mop regularly. And be sure to wear a dust mask and gloves while cleaning to help reduce your exposure to dust allergens.

CHECK THE LABEL

Sweat can make pillows, mattresses and furniture filled with foam rubber moldy. So be sure to check the label of your bedding and bedding covers.

COVER UP

Use anti-allergen covers on mattresses, box springs and pillows.

TAKE IT OUT

Remove wall-to-wall carpets from the bedroom, if possible.

DEHUMIDFY

Keep the relative humidity in your home below 50 percent. You can get a hygrometer (humidity monitor) at many hardware stores to measure your home’s humidity.4 When it’s humid, place a dehumidifier in damp areas to keep humidity in check.

Mold Allergies

Overview

A mold allergy comes from microscopic mold spores that float in the air like pollen. Indoor molds shed spores all year and are found lurking in damp spots, such as basements, bathrooms, laundry rooms, attics, refrigerators and windowsills. Since mold thrives in damp spaces, mold allergy symptoms may be more common during the summer months when it’s hot and humid.However, in geographies that are typically hot and humid, such as the South and West Coast, they can be prevalent year-round.

Tips for Mold Allergy Sufferers

CLEAN HOUSE

Help prevent mold with regular bathroom, laundry room and basement cleanings. Don’t leave damp laundry lying in the washing machine for long periods of time. Wash shower curtains and bathroom tiles, grouting and fixtures with mold-killing and mold-preventing solutions. Use machine washable bath mats in the bathroom.

KEEP HUMIDITY IN CHECK

Keep the humidity in your house below 50% to help discourage mold growth. If humidity is high, use air conditioners and dehumidifiers. You can also use an exhaust fan over the stove and in the bathroom to remove extra humidity from cooking and showering.5

DON’T FORGET THE FRIDGE

Clean the refrigerator and empty the water pan regularly. Discard spoiling food promptly to help minimize mold growth.

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Mold doesn't like sunlight, so try to keep your curtains or shades open during the day.

CHECK THE LABEL

Sweat can make pillows, mattresses and furniture filled with foam rubber moldy. So be sure to check the label of your bedding and bedding covers.

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