Common Allergies Found in the Home and How to Reduce Exposure to Them

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 Common Allergies Found in the Home and How to Reduce Exposure to Them

In our cozy homes, we seek refuge and comfort. However, unbeknownst to many, our homes can harbor hidden allergens that can trigger discomfort and even health issues. Allergies are a common concern for individuals of all ages, and reducing exposure to allergens within the home is vital for creating a healthier living environment. In this blog post, Dr. Tyler Basen will explore the most common allergies found in homes and provide practical tips to minimize allergy exposure, allowing you and your loved ones to breathe easy.

Dust Mites – Tiny Troublemakers

Dust mites are microscopic creatures that thrive in warm and humid environments, such as bedding, carpets, and upholstered furniture. Their presence can cause respiratory issues, skin irritation and allergic reactions. To minimize exposure to dust mites, consider the following tips:

Firstly, encase mattresses, pillows and duvets in allergen-proof covers to create a barrier against dust mite allergens. Regularly washing bedding in hot water above 130°F (54°C) can also help eliminate these unwanted guests. Secondly, vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture frequently using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner to trap and remove dust mites. Additionally, reducing indoor humidity with the use of dehumidifiers and keeping the temperature below 70°F (21°C) can create an inhospitable environment for dust mites.

Pet Dander – Love without Sneezes

Animals bring joy and companionship, but their dander can be a significant source of pet allergies. Pet dander consists of microscopic flakes of skin shed by animals, which can trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals. To minimize exposure to pet dander:

Start by establishing pet-free zones within your home, such as bedrooms or specific furniture. Regularly groom your pets outdoors to reduce the amount of loose hair and dander in the house. It’s also essential to vacuum regularly, using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter to effectively capture pet dander. Additionally, washing your hands after interacting with pets and laundering pet bedding frequently can further reduce exposure.

Mold – Conquering the Silent Intruder

Mold is a common allergen that thrives in moist environments, such as bathrooms, basements and areas with water damage. Exposure to mold can cause respiratory problems, nasal congestion and skin irritation. To minimize mold exposure:

Address any leaks or moisture issues promptly to prevent mold growth. Ensure proper ventilation in high-moisture areas, such as bathrooms, by using exhaust fans or opening windows. Regularly clean and disinfect bathroom surfaces using mold-inhibiting products. Additionally, avoid carpeting in areas prone to moisture and consider using dehumidifiers to maintain optimal humidity levels below 50%.

Pollen – Keeping Nature at Bay

Pollen, a common outdoor allergen, can easily find its way into your home, causing seasonal allergies. To minimize exposure to pollen:

During peak pollen seasons, keep windows and doors closed to prevent pollen from entering your home. Use air purifiers equipped with HEPA filters to trap pollen particles and improve indoor air quality. Remove shoes and outerwear when entering your home to avoid tracking pollen indoors. Regularly dust and vacuum your home to remove any settled pollen.

Chemical Sensitivities – Clearing the Air

Chemical sensitivities can manifest as allergic reactions or respiratory irritation when exposed to certain household products, such as cleaning agents, air fresheners and pesticides. To minimize chemical exposure:

Opt for natural and fragrance-free cleaning products to reduce the likelihood of triggering a reaction. Properly ventilate your home when using chemical-based products by opening windows or using fans. Consider using natural alternatives, such as vinegar and baking soda for cleaning purposes. Store chemicals securely and out of reach of children and pets.

Food Allergens – Keeping Your Kitchen Safe

Food allergies can have severe consequences, and cross-contamination within the home can be a significant risk. To minimize exposure to food allergens:

Maintain a clean and organized kitchen, regularly wiping down countertops and surfaces to prevent cross-contamination. Clearly label and separate allergenic foods from non-allergenic ones to avoid accidental ingestion. When cooking for individuals with food allergies, ensure thorough washing of utensils, cutting boards and cookware. Educate family members about food allergies and the importance of reading labels to identify potential allergens.


By implementing these practical tips to reduce allergy exposure, you can create a healthier and more comfortable living environment for you and your family. From tackling dust mites to pet dander, mold to pollen, and chemical sensitivities to food allergens, taking proactive steps to minimize allergen exposure will contribute to a happier, healthier home.

If you have more questions regarding allergies in the home, please do not hesitate to contact us. Pacific Allergy & Asthma would be more than happy to assist and answer any questions. 

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Dr. Tyler Basen, treats both kids and adults with food and environmental allergies, asthma, skin allergy and eczema, sinus disease and eosinophilic esophagitis.

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