If you’ve been diagnosed with an allergy to something in your environment, you’ve probably been told that the best course of action is to avoid whatever triggers your allergy. Easier said than done, right? That’s why we’ve put together some top tips to help you avoid those annoying allergens, as well as a handy list of other things to avoid which may trigger your allergy.

For ease, we’ve split our tips into groups according to the most common things that people are allergic to in the environment:


  1. Use high-efficiency HEPA filters on your furnace and vacuum cleaner.
  2. Keep your car and house windows closed and set the AC to recirculate.
  3. Stay indoors, where possible, if pollen counts are high. (You can check pollen counts in your local area at pollen.com.)
  4. Avoid yard work or wear a micro-fiber mask when digging.
  5. If you’ve been working outside, shower after and clean your hair, eyes, and eyelashes.
  6. If exercising outdoors, breathe through your nose.
  7. Avoid industrial plants and highways as air pollution can worsen your symptoms.
  8. Take anti-allergy medication 30 minutes before you go outside.


Mold spores

  1. Avoid areas where mold often grows such as barns, greenhouses, summer cottages, and uncut fields.
  2. Avoid mowing grass, raking leaves, working with hay, and handling mulch or compost.
  3. Keep your car and house windows closed, set the AC to recirculate, and avoid using fans that draw in air from outdoors.
  4. If you live in an area of high humidity or have a basement, use a dehumidifier in your house.
  5. Clean AC units, swamp coolers, refrigerators, furnace filters, and dehumidifiers.
  6. Make sure your clothes are completely dry before storing them.
  7. Use fungicide or bleach to clean moldy areas.


Animal dander

  1. If you own a furry pet, try to keep him or her outdoors, and when they are indoors, keep them to a room with a polished, easy-to-wipe floor.
  2. Wash your furry pet once a week in warm, soapy water.
  3. Use high-efficiency HEPA filters on your furnace and vacuum cleaner and vacuum clean your floors often.


House dust mites

  1. Regularly clean your house using a vacuum cleaner and reduce clutter.
  2. Wash bedding in 130°F hot water every week.
  3. Wear a mask when cleaning and avoid the cleaned area for 20 minutes after you are done cleaning.
  4. Regularly change furnace and AC filters.
  5. Use allergen-proof covers for your mattress and pillows.
  6. If you live in an area of high humidity or have a basement, use a dehumidifier in your house.



  1. Use bait traps or call a professional exterminator to get rid of any cockroach infestations.
  2. Keep your food and garbage in closed containers.
  3. Wash up dirty dishes on the same day you use them.
  4. Vacuum clean your floors regularly.
  5. Don’t store paper bags, cardboard boxes, or newspapers.
  6. Seal plumbing openings, cracks, and crevices.

Following all of these rules can be challenging. If you find that you can’t stick to these rules, you can consider other therapies to help with your allergy. You can find more information about these therapies and allergies in general on our website here.

It can also help to reduce your exposure to other allergens that could potentially trigger your allergy. For example, if you are allergic to Alder trees, then you may also be allergic to almonds and apples. Here is a more comprehensive list of these cross-reactive allergens:


What you know you are allergic to

What you should also avoid


Almonds, parsley, hazelnuts, apples, cherries, peaches, pears, strawberries, raspberries, celery

Birch Almonds, chicory, cilantro, fennel, hazelnuts, parsley, parsnips, soy, wheat, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, cherries, figs, kiwis, nectarines, peaches, pears, peppers, plums, prunes, strawberries, carrots, celery, potatoes
Grass Figs, melons, tomatoes, kiwis, peaches, celery
Mugwort pollen Cilantro, fennel, parsley, sunflower seeds, peppers, carrots, celery
Ragweed Echinacea, dandelions, hibiscus, chamomile tea, sunflower seeds, bananas, cantaloupes, cucumbers, honeydew, watermelon, tomatoes, zucchinis, artichokes
Molds Possible cross-reactions: mushroom, spinach
Latex rubber Chestnuts, bananas, avocados, kiwis, papayas

Whatever your allergy, at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat, our highly trained ENT doctors can provide you with relief so you can get on with your day. Schedule an appointment to get help with your allergy today by calling us at 480-684-1080.

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Dr. Cheryl A. MacKechnie, MD

Dr. Cheryl A. MacKechnie is board certified in otolaryngology and treats a broad range of ear, nose, and throat conditions. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, she completed her residency in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
    You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again – Regina’s Story

    Regina has suffered from hearing problems since she was an infant, recognized as regular chronic ear infections. And, as with unfortunate events, she has experienced a multitude of audiology catastrophes.

    It was many years before Regina crossed paths with Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat; where her lifetime of hearing problems was addressed effectively and treated with the delicate care that she desperately required.

    Regina’s journey began when she was taken to a regular paediatrician by her mother from a young age. Her ears were, what we describe as an audiologists recipe for disaster, ‘flushed out’.

    This dangerous procedure caused a nasty infection, which spread to her mastoid bone and, at the age of 15, she underwent a tympanoplasty mastoidectomy to stop the infection spreading. This only forbade her future struggles with hearing loss. 

    As with poor diagnosis, Regina was faced with another canaloplasty which didn’t work. Soon after, she received a BAHA, which is a cochlear implant in her skull that acts as a sound processor that detects sound and transforms it into vibrations. 

    However, suffering from a history of poor hearing care, she was unaware of the former issues her ear presented.

    By now, this would be described as any audiologists nightmare. But, we’re proud to have helped Regina on her road to optimum hearing and reconnect her to her loved ones.

    When she arrived at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat it was evident that she was losing hearing on her right side. At this point, she was fitted with a ReSound hearing device, which provided the catalyst to a new and improved hearing.

    The first thing Regina noticed was the indefinite sound she had been making whilst emptying the dishwasher, completely unaware of the noise she was making!

    “I mean, the detail that I can hear now it’s like, Whoa, I didn’t realize I was making that much noise. I need to be quieter!”

    Treated with professional care, Regina received a comprehensive hearing assessment with Dr. Debra Hamila.

    “I just love, love, love Dr. Hamila, she is such a professional and loving person. I was so impressed with the office and what she did with the ReSound, I just love her.”

    Like many others, it takes years for people to realize they have a hearing problem. Regina described this moment as life-changing.

    “You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again. Especially now I’m a full-time Grammy Nanny, I can hear so much more and it has enriched my life incredibly.”

    What advice would you give to someone who is deliberating on taking the first step towards better hearing?

    “My advice to them would be to have a hearing test. Especially as we age our hearing goes down. It’s really unfortunate that people carry their pride and are not willing to learn to walk with the rock in their shoe. You don’t realise you’re waking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again.”

    Regina is one of many patients who has been impacted by our audiological services and we are proud to have been able to provide the tool towards better hearing and a lifetime of many more memories.