Managing Your Allergies: Care Instructions

Skip to the navigation

Your Care Instructions

Managing your allergies is an important part of staying healthy. Your doctor will help you find out what may be causing the allergies. Common causes of allergy symptoms are house dust and dust mites, animal dander, mould, and pollen.

As soon as you know what triggers your symptoms, try to reduce your exposure to your triggers. This can help prevent allergy symptoms, asthma, and other health problems.

Ask your doctor about allergy medicine or immunotherapy. These treatments may help reduce or prevent allergy symptoms.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If you think that dust or dust mites are causing your allergies:
    • Wash sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding every week in hot water.
    • Use airtight, dust-proof covers for pillows, duvets, and mattresses. Avoid plastic covers, because they tend to tear quickly and do not "breathe." Wash according to the instructions.
    • Remove extra blankets and pillows that you don't need.
    • Use blankets that are machine-washable.
    • Don't use home humidifiers. They can help mites live longer.
  • Use air-conditioning. Change or clean all filters every month. Keep windows closed. Use high-efficiency air filters. Don't use window or attic fans, which draw dust into the air.
  • If you're allergic to pet dander, keep pets outside or, at the very least, out of your bedroom. Old carpet and cloth-covered furniture can hold a lot of animal dander. You may need to replace them.
  • Look for signs of cockroaches. Use cockroach baits to get rid of them. Then clean your home well.
  • If you're allergic to mould, don't keep indoor plants, because moulds can grow in soil. Get rid of furniture, rugs, and drapes that smell musty. Check for mould in the washroom.
  • If you're allergic to pollen, stay inside when pollen counts are high.
  • Don't smoke or let anyone else smoke in your house. Don't use fireplaces or wood-burning stoves. Avoid paint fumes, perfumes, and other strong odours.

When should you call for help?

Give an epinephrine shot if:

  • You think you are having a severe allergic reaction.
  • You have symptoms in more than one body area, such as mild nausea and an itchy mouth.

After giving an epinephrine shot call 911, even if you feel better.

Call 911 if:

  • You have symptoms of a severe allergic reaction. These may include:
    • Sudden raised, red areas (hives) all over your body.
    • Swelling of the throat, mouth, lips, or tongue.
    • Trouble breathing.
    • Passing out (losing consciousness). Or you may feel very light-headed or suddenly feel weak, confused, or restless.
  • You have been given an epinephrine shot, even if you feel better.

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as:
    • A rash or hives (raised, red areas on the skin).
    • Itching.
    • Swelling.
    • Belly pain, nausea, or vomiting.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:

  • Your allergies get worse.
  • You need help controlling your allergies.
  • You have questions about allergy testing.
  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

Enter L249 in the search box to learn more about "Managing Your Allergies: Care Instructions."