Allergen Avoidance

Eliminate as much as possible all the allergens you can from your environment, principally domestic animals (dogs, cats) and house-dust mites. Some practical suggestions for minimising / avoiding allergen exposure in the home:1

  • Wash bedding weekly, in hot water (more than 50°C) as this will kill dust mites and wash away the allergen they produce. Alternatively tumble dry the sheets on ‘hot’ for at least 10 minutes.
  • Use dust mite resistant covers for mattresses etc. and wash these every 2 months.
  • Consider replacing carpets with hard floors.
  • Use a damp mop to dust hard surfaces (including hard floors) weekly.
  • Vacuum carpets weekly, but be aware that vacuuming increases the amount of house dust mite allergen in the air for up to 20 minutes.


If you are allergic to mould, you may consider:

  • Use anti-mould cleaners or where appropriate bleach to removing visible mould.
  • Removing indoor pot plants (which promote mould growth).
  • Drying or removing wet carpets.
  • Beware of working with garden compost which can contain mould spores.


Avoid as much as possible allergens you cannot eliminate from your environment, notably airborne pollens.

Find out when pollen is most likely to be in the air ("pollen season")

Avoid precipitating factors, i.e. non-allergens which can cause allergic symptoms e.g. cigarette smoke or changes in temperature.