If you're an allergy sufferer, you know how frustrating it can be to deal with symptoms like itchy eyes, runny nose, and persistent cough. The medications and lifestyle changes you've adopted may not seem to be doing enough to relieve your suffering. Sheltering yourself indoors to avoid pollen, grass or other common allergens may not even provide sufficient relief. That's because there are plenty of allergy triggers indoors. Follow these 10 tips to reduce common allergies at home, and you may notice a significant decrease in your symptoms.

1. Remove Shoes at the Door

You can start allergy-proofing your home the moment you walk in the door. A great deal of dust, debris, pollen, and leaves enters your home on your shoes. Not only will removing them at the door keep your floors cleaner, but it can also go far toward keeping allergens contained. It is important to remember that flooring, especially carpet, can still collect various particles. So, be sure to vacuum and mop regularly. Deep cleaning carpets yearly is also useful.

2. Dust Furniture

Furniture is another collector of dust and mites that can aggravate allergies. Find a dusting routine that works for you and stick to it to keep dust at bay. Use microfiber dusting cloths or mitts to contain dust and keep particles from flying through the air. Pay particular attention to electronic items as these devices tend to attract dust at a rapid rate. 

Also, you'll want to be sure to tackle areas like ceiling fan blades, window sills, and door frames. Keep in mind that some cleaning products can also trigger allergies. Stick to eco-friendly options to be safe.

3. Change Bedding Frequently

Soft materials like comforters, sheets, and pillows are a haven for dust mites, pet dander, and other allergens. You can cut down on buildup by purchasing mattress and pillow covers specifically meant to block allergens. One of the best methods, though, is to wash your bedding weekly in hot water.

4. Replace Old Mattresses

If it's economically feasible, replacing mattresses that are several years old is advisable to cut down on allergens. Getting a new mattress every seven to 10 years is advisable. Sleeping on an old mattress can lead to breathing problems, tightness in the chest, and disturbed rest. It's also not very healthy for your back and spine.

5. Clean Window Coverings

Another area where dust mites and other allergy-triggering particles like to congregate is on blinds and curtains. You can keep buildup at bay by vacuuming your window coverings every couple of weeks. If you have drapery made of delicate fabric, using a blow dryer on the cool setting can remove particle buildup. 

At least twice a year, you'll want to take your curtains down and throw them in the laundry for a thorough cleansing. You can clean blinds by wiping them down with a duster or damp cloth.

6. Keep Bathroom Mold at Bay

Bathrooms are a hotbed for mold and mildew due to their warm, humid environment. It's essential to pay particular attention to your cleaning routine when it comes to these areas. You'll want to disinfect surfaces like countertops, faucets, sinks, and toilets, as well as flooring. 

A cleaner with bleach will do the job, but you can also make your own solution using a mixture of castile soap and baking soda. Add essential oils for a pleasant scent if you'd like. A great way to prevent mildew and mold between cleanings is to wipe down damp surfaces after use.

7. Maintain Pet Care

If you have pets, you'll need to extend extra effort to allergen reduction. Brushing your furry friend regularly cuts down on dander. You may also want to keep a lint roller handy to pick up stray hairs from soft surfaces. 

Bathing your pet every month or so is another way to address the dander issue. Ask your vet for a recommended schedule, as bathing too frequently can irritate the skin. Clean pet toys often as well to reduce common allergy irritants.

8. Run Air Conditioning and Dehumidifiers

While letting the fresh air blow in through an open window might seem refreshing, it's not the best plan if you're an allergy sufferer. Keep windows closed and opt for air conditioning on warm days instead. 

The ideal temperature for a home is 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, as warm rooms invite dust mites and mold. In addition, keeping humidity below 50% throughout your home is recommended. You can run a humidifier in areas of high humidity such as basements.

9. Clean Filters and Ducts

When using appliances like air conditioners and humidifiers, you'll need to be sure to keep your filters cleaned. Checking them once a month is a good rule of thumb. Replace filters that are looking worse for wear. Another place that's often out of sight and out of mind is the ductwork in your home. 

Though you might not think about it often, the heating and air conditioning ducts are constantly blowing air throughout your entire home. If they aren't cleaned regularly, they're also circulating all kinds of dirt, dander, and dust.

If you live in Canada, for example, It's a good idea to invest in professional Ottawa duct cleaning services for optimal indoor air quality. Cleaning ductwork is something that should be left to professionals.

10. Ditch the Carpets

Finally, if it's financially feasible, removing all carpeting from your home might be the best course of action for allergy sufferers. Carpets take up a great deal of surface area throughout your abode, and it can be quite the endeavor to vacuum it enough to significantly cut down on allergens. Ditching carpets, or at least replacing older ones, can make a huge dent in your allergy battles.

Bottom Line

Keep these tips in mind to reduce common allergens in your home. Taking your medications and avoiding the outdoors as much as possible probably isn't enough to obtain relief. Adding these steps to your routine provides a much-needed layer in your allergy-prevention armor.