Allergen avoidance advice

General allergen avoidance advice

  • For allergy to food and occupational allergens, avoidance is the only effective method available.
  • Avoidance of aeroallergens is difficult and time consuming. Despite this, allergen avoidance should be part of the overall management.
  • The most effective dust mite avoidance measure is to use suitable covers for mattress and the bedding.
  • Ideally cats or dogs should be removed and the home vigorously cleaned to enhance allergen reduction.
  • Cockroaches must be exterminated, followed by aggressive cleaning of the home to remove collected allergen.
  • Some common sense measures to avoid exposure to high levels of pollen during the season are recommended.
  • Reducing dampness and regular cleaning can reduce mould growth in the house.


Dust mite allergen avoidance advice

  • Varnished floors and washable rugs are preferable to fitted carpets - replace if possible.
  • Vacuum carpets (if not removed) and upholstery at least once a week.
  • Allow adequate ventilation.
  • Replace old mattresses.
  • Use semi-permeable covers for mattresses, pillows and duvets.
  • Use a damp cloth when dusting.
  • Change and hot-wash (>55°) pillowcases, sheets, blankets and duvet covers every week.
  • Replace woollen blankets with synthetic ones or washable duvets.
  • Avoid using feather pillows or bedding.
  • Have light washable curtains.
  • Reduce the amount of upholstered furniture, especially old items.
  • Expose mattress and bedding to the sunshine.
  • Keep soft toys to a minimum, hot wash or freeze regularly.


Domestic animal allergen avoidance advice

  • Never allow animals in the bedroom.
  • Set aside areas in the home where pets are not allowed.
  • The room where pets are allowed should have washable flooring rather than carpets to minimise accumulation of allergen particles.
  • Pets should sleep outside the house if possible.
  • Vacuum clean regularly with a high-efficiency filter.
  • Grooming or clipping should not be done in the house.
  • Discourage animals from licking people.
  • Do not allow visitors to bring animals into your home.
  • Do not buy or replace pets in future.
  • Allow adequate ventilation.
  • Wash cat frequently, this reduces surface allergen.


Pollen avoidance advice

  • Avoid cutting the grass yourself.
  • Avoid going out and keep windows closed in the late afternoon and early evening.
  • Wear sunglasses when outdoors.
  • If possible, keep the bedroom windows closed.
  • Avoid picnic or camping holidays.
  • Keep car windows closed when in the car.


Mould allergen avoidance advice

  • Avoid exposure to areas of high mould growth, such as basements, compost piles, fallen leaves, cut grass, barns and wooded areas.
  • Solve problems of dampness inside the house.
  • Excess humidity produced by bathing and cooking should be reduced with an exhaust fan.
  • Mould growing in the house can be killed with various products.
  • Clean and disinfect air conditioning conduits.
  • Change and hot wash pillowcases, sheets, blankets and duvet covers every week.
  • Allow adequate ventilation.
  • Varnished floors and washable rugs are preferable to fitted carpets.