Yeah, outside = bad. I use pillow casings. I had a mattress casing, too, but the mattress I bought three or so years ago was too big for it, and I haven't gotten around to a new one. I got a humidifier recently, a cool mist model that doesn't require filter replacements (from Hunter brand at Amazon), and it seems to help a little. I have the hardest time staying consistent with my Allegra. I keep forgetting about it until a meal and, of course, you're supposed to wait 2 hours after eating to take one (or eat an hour after taking one), so I end up missing it. I've also been using the Rhinocort spray, but I'm honestly not sure if that's as effective as Naserel. I hate the Naserel spray, though. It sends that crap so far up, I can taste it coming all the way down my throat and to the back of my mouth. Bleacch! I hate drugs.