Symptoms to Watch For
Dust allergy symptoms are similar to those of pollen allergies:
Red, itchy, watery eyes
Runny, itchy, stuffy nose
What Causes Dust Allergies?
It sounds nasty, but it’s true: One piece of dust can contain pet dander, pieces of dead cockroaches, and mold spores, along with dead skin and dust mites.
Both cockroaches and pet dander are common allergy triggers, too.
How Can I Prevent Symptoms?
The best strategy is to limit your exposure to dust.
Start in the bedroom, where you probably spend the most time. Large numbers of dust mites can gather in mattresses, bedding, and upholstered furniture.
Wear a mask while cleaning, too.
Bedroom Dust-Busting Tips
Put airtight, plastic dust-mite covers on pillows, mattresses, and box springs.
Use pillows filled with polyester fibers instead of kapok or feathers.
Wash bedding in very hot water (over 130 F) once a week. The water needs to be this hot to kill dust mites. Dry the bedding in a hot dryer.
If your bedroom is in a basement with a concrete floor, move upstairs if you can. Concrete stays damp and creates the moist, humid environment dust mites love.
Around the House
Clean bare floors often with a damp mop or cloth.
Vacuum carpets once or twice a week. Use a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. If your dust allergy is severe, ask your doctor if replacing wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood or vinyl floors would help.
Wash throw rugs in hot water.
Vacuum upholstered furniture such as sofas. Wood, leather, plaster, or metal furniture is better for dust allergies.
Replace drapes with roll-up window shades. If you must have curtains, wash them in hot water each season.
Get rid of stuffed animals, soft toys, and other dust collectors.
Keep Air Clean and Dry
Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to lower humidity.
Keep humidity in your home below 55%. Use a hygrometer to measure it. You can get one at hardware and building supply stores.