Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Top 5 Household Allergens That Are Living Right Under Your Nose


5
Pollen
Pollen is one of the most common household allergens, and one of the hardest to avoid.
Pollen is one of the most common household allergens, and one of the hardest to avoid.
Stockbyte/Getty Images

You might think that pollen is just an outdoor problem. But the pesky stuff has a way of drifting inside your home -- unless you fight it.

Where you live largely determines the type of pollen you have to contend with and when it's at its worst. In many areas, only the dead of winter offers relief from pollen. But early spring brings pollen from trees and flowers. Summer means grass allergies. And in the fall, prepare for another round of pollen from ragweed and other late-blooming plants.

Staying inside isn't enough, although you'll want to do so on windy days and in the mornings. To avoid pollen, keep windows and doors closed. Use the air conditioner during warm months for temperature regulation, since fans just stir up dust and pollen. Cover air-conditioner vents with cheesecloth, and clean or change filters frequently. Dust with a damp cloth so you don't spread any pollen that might have made its way inside.

Keep reading to learn about other household allergens that may be waiting to make you sick.


More to Explore