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Marc G. Dubin, MD, FACS

Specialized care for the nose and sinuses for Baltimore, MD 410.821.5151

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Test Prep > Testing Consent > Allergen Avoidance >  

Allergy Avoidance Tips

An allergy is a sensitivity to substances (allergen) that are normally harmless.  Allergens in the air (inhalant) like pollen (grass, weeds, trees), mold and animal dander can cause many symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, itchy or water eyes.  One of the most important ways to minimize allergy symptoms is to limit your exposure to common allergens.

Pollens (grass/weeds/trees)

  • Check your local pollen counts online and minimize your time outside when pollen counts are high to the things that you are allergic to
  • Have someone spray or kill weeds to minimize your weed allergy
  • Keep your windows closed and use air conditioners
  • Avoid fans that draw outside air inside
  • Avoid plants related to ragweed (zinnias, chrysanthemums, marigolds, dahlias or sunflowers)
  • Use HEPA filters and vacuum regularly


  • Avoid handling mulch, compost, raking leaves or working with hay
  • Avoid barns and greenhouses
  • Fix water leaks
  • Use air conditioning and dehumidifiers to decrease indoor humidity to less than 50%
  • Frequently clean furnace filters, refrigerator and dehumidifier
  • Thoroughly dry clothes before folding them
  • Clean moldy areas with fungicide and/or bleach
  • Run bathroom vent when showering
  • Avoid spending much time in a basement

Animal Dander (if you own a pet)

  • Keep pet outdoors as much as possible
  • Do not let your pet in your bedroom
  • Confine your pet to a room with a polished floor and wipeable furniture
  • Use a HEPA filter
  • Wash your pet weekly
  • Put mattresses, pillows,and box springs in allergen proof coverings

Dust mites

  • Keep you bedroom clean and avoid clutter
  • Vacuum and dust weekly (avoid areas after cleaning for 20min)
  • if you have to clean yourself, wear a mask
  • Use allergen covers for your mattresses and pillows
  • Wash bedding weekly
  • Regularly change furnace and air conditioning filters
  • Hardwood/vinyl floors are better than carpet
  • Use only washable window curtains