Allergy & Asthma Care Information - enviromental control

GENERAL INFORMATION (These are the keys to good allergy & asthma control)

These recommendations can be easy to carry out. Scientific tests have shown that carefully following these suggestions will markedly decrease your symptoms. The discussion will be divided into allergic factors and non-specific irritants. Avoiding substances to which you are allergic (“allergens”) will decrease your symptoms and make you less sensitive to non-specific irritants such as smoke, strong odors, cold air, etc.

Inhaled allergens are divided into four categories: house dust mite, mold spores, plant pollen, and animal danders. In addition, symptoms can be provoked by non-specific irritants, such as temperature and humidity extremes, smoke, pollution, strong odors, etc. These factors are called non-specific irritants because if symptoms are severe enough, they will develop in anybody. Due to the hypersensitivity of your airways, odors and irritants that would be insignificant to others may aggravate your symptoms. For this reason, you should avoid these non-specific irritants as well as the allergens identified by skin testing. Each of these factors will be reviewed separately below.


  1. House dust contains numerous tiny particles which originate from various objects in your house and from out of doors: protein dusts from dust mites, dander from pets, mold spores from damp areas, pollens, wool fibers from rugs, scales of dead skin (dander) from your own body, etc. Dust mites are small organisms which can be seen only under the microscope. They are (along with mold spores & animal danders) the most important allergens in dust. Dust mites live on human dander. Therefore, they are most concentrated where the members of your household spend most of your time. This means that beds, favorite chairs, as well as carpeting can be the worst areas for dust mite exposure.
  2. Pollens blow into homes through windows and doors. These build up as dusts in pillows and bedding, and like other dusts can cause year round allergies.
  3. Scientific studies conclusively show that dust control measures markedly decrease the concentration of dusts breathed in, leading to a substandard reduction in airway hyper-reactivity and symptoms.
  4. You spend an average of eight hours/day or one third of your life in bed. This makes using simple, comfortable “stretch knit” dust covers containing polyurethane linings for pillows and mattress (and perhaps box springs and comforters) absolutely essential to improve allergies. For many patients, no amount of medicine will overcome breathing in dust all night, so it is critical to utilize dust covers which consistently eliminate 98-99% of night time dusts. These special allergy proof bedding covers comfortably fit underneath pillow slips and fitted sheets.
  5. Substitute easily washable synthetic materials such as Velox for woolen blankets or feather quilts. Washable blankets can be washed in hot water frequently to rid them of dust mites and built-up dusts, danders, pollens, mold spores etc. Feathers and wool accumulate dusts in huge quantities – causing very heavy dust exposures.
  6. Always at least once monthly wash all uncovered bedding (including blankets, comforters, mattress pads, etc.) in hot water. Only HOT WATER kills dust mites effectively. Dust covers themselves rarely need to be washed. Generally leave pillow and mattress covers in place to contain dusts and wash the pillow slips, fitted sheets, etc.

If you would like additional detailed information on allergy and asthma environmental control, contact us and make an appointment at our clinic.

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Located in Medford, Oregon with satellite offices in Grants Pass, Ashland, and Klamath Falls, the Allergy and Asthma Center of Southern Oregon, PC offers exceptional care for patients with allergies and asthma.

Allergy & Asthma Information

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