Last edited 02/2022

The aim is to reduce exposure to the allergen (1).

General measures include:

  • humidity control—some people claim that many symptoms of rhinitis improve with humidifiers. However, they may be a source of allergens, such as moulds, and may promote the growth of mites
  • avoidance of irritants such as cigarette smoke, ammonia, soap powder

Specific measures are dictated by the identification of particular allergens. These may include:

  • removal of household pets
  • removal of sources of feathers—pillows, birds, down jackets
  • minimise carpeting—carpets may act as a reservoir for dust, mites, dander
  • isolate bedroom from hot air heating systems, which may introduce allergens through the air ducts
  • although dust mites are common allergens in allergic rhinitis, studies have not confirmed any benefit to using mite-proof impermeable mattresses or pillow covers (2)
  • launder pillows and bedding regularly in hot water
  • keep windows closed during pollen season (3)
  • use air conditioning in bedroom and car


  1. Plaut M, Valentine MD. Allergic rhinitis. NEJM 2005;353:1934–1944.
  2. Sur DKC, Plesa ML. Treatment of allergic rhinitis. Am Fam Physician 2015;92(11):985–992.
  3. Clinical knowledge summaries, safe practical clinical answers. Allergic rhinitis.