Indoor Allergies – Treatment and Self-Care at Home

The single best thing you can do is remove the allergen from your environment (see Prevention). A variety of medications can be used to treat hay fever, eye symptoms, and asthma.

Self-Care at Home

Nonprescription antihistamine medication such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) by mouth reduces the itch and watery eyes. Caution – these medications may make you too drowsy to drive or operate machinery safely. They can interfere with concentration or with children’s learning at school. They are to be used for a few days only. The nonsedating antihistamine, loratadine (Claritin) is also now available without a prescription. This medication is a better choice for an antihistamine if the medicine is to be taken during the day.

Medical Treatment

If symptoms do not improve, your physician may prescribe one or more medications. The medications do not cure the allergy, but relieve symptoms.

If a specific allergen is identified through allergy testing, desensitization may be done by your allergy doctor.

Removing pets, especially cats, from inside the house may be necessary if they are contributing to indoor allergies.

Changing heating/air conditioning filters, cleaning carpets, and removing any moldy material from the house can help decrease allergens.