Now that summer is here, you might think you're in the clear when it comes to allergies. Unfortunately, that's not entirely true. There are still plenty of allergens in the air to make your life miserable. Some of them, like dust mites and animal dander, are living right inside your home. Don't be left feeling miserable this summer. Use the following tips to stop allergies in their tracks.

Start with Your Pillow

If your pillow feels heavier than it did when you bought it, there's a good reason for that. Back when you bought your pillow, it wasn't filled with dust mites, body oils, and dead skin cells. Unfortunately, if your pillow is more than a few years old, or hasn't been washed in a while, that's exactly what's hiding inside the fluff now. To stop allergies from interrupting you sleep, tuck your pillow into a hypo-allergenic cover. Wash the cover about once a week, and wash the pillow about once a month. If your pillow is more than a few years old, it's time to toss it out and get a new one.

Keep Pets Off Your Bed

If you've got pets, they need to stay off your bed. That's important even if you have a "hypo-allergenic" dog. You see, hypo-allergenic dogs may not shed, but their hair still contains dander that can trigger an allergic outburst. If your family pet really wants to sleep in the room with you, bring its bed into the room, but keep it off your bed. Be sure to wash your pets bed at least once a month, to get rid of the dander that could be triggering your allergies.

Get Tough with the Toys

If you've got kids, they probably have stuffed animals. They may even have one or two favorites that they carry everywhere with them. Those stuffed animals could contain dust mites; a lot of them. To get rid of the dust mites, toss the big ones in a pillow case and wash them once a month. Place smaller ones inside plastic bags and toss them in the freezer overnight.

Talk to Your Doctor

If your allergies are getting out of control, it's time to talk to your doctor. You may have allergies that you don't know about, or it might be time to control them with prescription medications. Your doctor will be able to conduct testing to determine which allergens are causing you the most distress, and provide a treatment plan for you.

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