Can Allergies Be Prevented?
Allergies can often be prevented by avoiding triggers that cause your symptoms.
For example, if you are allergic to peanuts, you can prevent symptoms by avoiding foods that contain peanuts or that are prepared in the same place as foods with peanuts. Another way to prevent allergies is to keep a diary that allows you to track factors you suspect may be causing or worsening your symptoms. For example, if you are allergic to pollen, you may want to avoid going on hikes or long walks outdoors during certain seasons.
Here are tips on allergy prevention for different types of allergies.
- Read all labels on food products to make sure they do not contain the allergen or were not manufactured in the same place as foods that contain the allergen.
- Inform the servers or chefs at restaurants of your food allergy so they can avoid exposing you to the allergen.
- Inform friends and relatives of your food allergy, especially if you are eating meals prepared by others.
- Consider preparing your own meals at home to reduce your exposure to allergens.
- Limit the time you spend outdoors when pollen counts are high. Pollen counts can be checked for any given day on many weather apps and websites.
- Keep your windows closed when pollen counts are high.
- Shower every night before bedtime to remove pollen from your skin and hair.
- Wear sunglasses and hats when spending time outdoors to prevent pollen from getting into your eyes and hair.
- Change your clothing after being outdoors for long periods and do laundry more often than usual during the pollen season.
- Avoid walking barefoot outdoors to reduce your risk of insect stings and bites on your feet.
- Keep foods and beverages covered at all times when outdoors.
- Make sure garbage cans stored outside have tight-fitting lids.
- Avoid wearing bright-colored clothing and sweet-smelling cosmetic products like perfumes and lotions.
- Avoid swatting at flying insects to prevent them from biting and stinging you.
- Please make sure all screens on windows and doors are closed and fit properly on their frames.
- Drive with your vehicle windows closed.
- Pay close attention when doing yard work to avoid disturbing wasp nests, anthills, and other insects that bite and sting.
- Wear a dust mask over your nose and mouth to avoid breathing in mold spores when mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or doing other chores that expose you to mold.
- Stay inside following a rainstorm and in foggy conditions to reduce your exposure to mold spores.
- Use allergy-friendly filters in your air conditioner that can catch mold spores and prevent them from spreading throughout your home.
- Fix any leaks from pipes and faucets to prevent the growth and spreading of mold.
- Turn on exhaust fans when using the shower or bathroom to reduce moisture buildup and prevent mold.
- Clean your bathroom and kitchen regularly to reduce and prevent fungi and mold.
- Consider getting hypoallergenic pets, which often produce less dander and do not shed hair.
- Keep your pets out of the bedroom to reduce exposure to dander.
- Vacuum carpets and mop floors regularly to remove pet dander and hair.
- Change and wash your clothing after spending time with pets or when visiting homes that have pets.
- Ask someone in your household without pet allergies to groom and brush your pet and be responsible for cleaning their cage or litter box.
- Read all product labels to make sure the products do not contain latex. Many products are made with latex, including balloons, gloves, balls, condoms, rubber bands, and rubber balls.
- Inform your employer about your latex allergy, especially if you and your coworkers are expected to wear gloves to perform job duties.
- Inform all your healthcare providers about your latex allergy so they can wear non-latex gloves during appointments and physical exams.