Common Medications and Treatments for Home Allergies

Treatment for indoor allergies starts with avoiding exposure to your allergens and may also include allergy medication or allergy shots.

People with indoor allergies can take the following steps listed below in this patient education guide to minimize contact with common allergens (i.e. dust mites, animal dander, and mold):

  • Avoid contact with animals that cause the allergy.
  • Put allergen covers (“mite-proof” covers) on pillows and mattresses.
  • Wash bed linens weekly in hot water.
  • Keep stuffed toys off beds, and wash them weekly.
  • Vacuum weekly using either a vacuum with a HEPA filter or a central vacuum system.
  • Use a damp cloth to wipe dust off furniture and other hard surfaces weekly.
  • Keep the humidity level in your home below 55 percent. Use a dehumidifier if necessary. Do not use vaporizers or humidifiers. Repair any water leaks.
  • Use vent fans in bathrooms and when cooking to remove moisture from the air.
  • Clean and disinfect bathrooms regularly.
  • Use pull-down shades instead of slatted blinds and cloth draperies, which collect more dust.
  • Wear a N95 filter mask while dusting, sweeping or vacuuming.

If the strategies listed above do not relieve your symptoms, the following strategies may be useful:

  • Remove wall-to-wall carpeting, especially in the bedroom.
  • Remove upholstered furniture or switch to furniture made with synthetic fabrics.
  • Ask your allergist about installing a high-efficiency media filter with a MERV rating of 11 or 12 in the furnace and air conditioning unit.

Allergy shots and common allergy medicines prescribed for indoor allergies are described in the table below.

Drug Category How it works
Antihistamines  Oral medications or nasal sprays that relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes and reduce swelling and drainage in the noseSome have side effects, such as drowsiness and loss of alertness and coordination, while others cause fewer of these side effects

Available in eye drops for eye allergy symptoms

 Nasal Corticosteroids  Nasal sprays that prevent or reduce inflammation in the sinuses and nasal passages
 Cromolyn Sodium  A nasal spray that blocks the release of body chemicals that cause allergy symptoms
 Decongestants  Oral medications that shrink nasal passages, which helps relieve congestion, swelling, and general discomfort in the sinuses and nose
 Allergy Shots  A series of injections containing small doses of your allergen, allowing your body to build up a natural immunity to the allergen