Ways to Manage Your Allergies

Allergies are a common chronic condition affecting a wide variety of people.

While many allergy symptoms are seasonal and mild, some allergic conditions can be life threatening. With preventative care and symptom management, however, you can reduce or eliminate the effects of allergies in your everyday life.

There are a wide range of common allergens including animal dander, dust mites, mold, pollen, food and medications. Common physical reactions to allergens include eye irritation, rashes, asthma and various skin reactions. There are various practices and medications available that can be used to combat allergies. Discover how to effectively control your symptoms for this condition in the next sections.

Control Indoor Allergens

Keeping frequently visited indoor areas clean is a good way to manage your allergies. Your home, vehicle and work place are all places where allergens can exist. Pet dander and dust can build up quickly and cause allergic reactions, so frequent cleaning is necessary to eliminate the potential presence of allergens in all your living spaces.

Cleaning the carpet and floors by vacuuming often can pick up pet hair, dust mites, dirt and pollen. Furniture should also be cleaned regularly, as it is easy for most allergens to penetrate the fabric on these items and irritate your allergies.

Keeping the air clean is another method to remove potential allergens from a small area. Using high efficiency filters in your air conditioning unit can improve air quality in these spaces and reduce harmful irritants. Additionally, a dehumidifier can help air dry, which makes it easier to breathe when your allergy symptoms act up.

Outdoor allergens can also be easily tracked into your home, vehicle or workplace. You can prevent outdoor antigens like pollen from irritating your allergies by taking the following steps:

  • Making sure to keep doors and windows to indoor areas closed during pollen season.
  • Cleaning out your car regularly can also be an effective method to prevent the build-up of foreign substances in this enclosed space.
  • Washing blankets, sheets, towels and beds also reduces the presence of certain allergens.

Avoid Allergen Triggers

While allergens in your personal spaces are more manageable, certain outside triggers are more difficult to avoid. For example, outdoor allergies are more difficult to reduce and eliminate. However, you can still decrease your exposure to allergen triggers with certain preventative measures.

Being aware of pollen blooms in your area can help you determine if your allergies may flare up. Depending on where you live, allergies can increase in severity at certain times of the year. Taking extra precautions during these times and when pollen counts are high is helpful for managing potential reactions.

Outdoor activities and chores, such as lawn mowing and gardening, should be done on low pollen days. If possible, avoid completing these activities during the early morning, as this is when pollen counts are usually the highest. Wearing a mask or bandana over your nose and mouth can also prevent you from breathing in allergens. Protective clothing is also helpful in avoiding potential skin reactions from touching things you are allergic to while doing outside chores.

In addition, taking allergy medications preemptively is also helpful in preventing symptoms from arising. For example, if you know the pollen count is going to be high during a certain period, taking medication before leaving the house is beneficial. Similarly, if you are visiting a friend with a pet you are allergic to, you can prepare by taking medicine. This is especially helpful for individuals who are easily affected by common alleges like pollen.

Use Allergy Medications

Certain treatments are extremely helpful in managing allergy symptoms and there are a variety of different medications available. Finding the solution that best fits your needs and controls allergic reactions requires some research and the advice of a healthcare provider. Remaining open to trying various medications is also necessary in order to discover the most effective treatment for you. Common allergy medicines that you may need to try include:

  • Antihistamines.
  • Decongestants.
  • Nasal spray.
  • Natural remedies.

Antihistamines are the typical solution to relieve sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and hives. Benadryl is a frequently used antihistamine, but often causes grogginess in users, which many do not like. This medicine is also short acting and must be taken every few hours to stave off symptoms. Luckily, newer antihistamines have been developed that last longer and do not cause drowsiness. Zyrtec, Clarinex, Allegra and Claritin are newer products that are effective allergy medications and only need to be taken once a day to relive symptoms.

Decongestants are another type of allergy medication that can relieve certain symptoms. Nasal blockage, stuffy nose and sore throat may be reduced or eliminated using decongestants. However, those with existing health problems should ask a medical professional if this form of allergy medication is safe to use. Some decongestants can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can be dangerous if you are trying to control your high blood pressure.

A nasal spray is a simple method to relieve mild allergy symptoms. Itchy and runny nose, sneezing and sore throat can be alleviated using a nasal spray. While some nasal sprays are available in drug stores, more effective sprays can be prescribed by your health care provider.

Natural and holistic remedies are also sometimes used to combat allergies. There are a variety of these treatments available, and to narrow down natural remedies that best suit your needs, conduct research and talk to professionals for recommendations. While the medical benefits of these remedies have yet to be proven in a research setting, there are many claims of successful holistic treatment. Spirulina, Echinacea, and local bee pollen are common natural remedies for allergies that are safe to try and are thought to be effective.

If you frequently experience allergy symptoms and are constantly buying medication from your local pharmacy, consider getting a pharmacy discount card or signing up for a rewards program to help you save some money.

Ask Your Doctor About Allergy Shots

Allergy shots can provide relief for a variety of different allergy issues. This treatment involves injecting yourself with small amounts of allergens over months and years to slowly reduce acclimate your body to the allergen and reduce symptoms. Allergy shots are often effective for seasonal allergies and even life threatening allergic conditions. However, this method cannot be used to treat food allergies.

By reducing sensitivity to allergen triggers, the shots have the potential to eliminate or greatly diminish specific conditions over time. There is a chance of an allergic reaction being triggered by these shots, but this only occurs for one percent of all shots. Consult your medical professional to determine whether these shot treatments would be effective in managing your specific allergy. If you need help finding a doctor that best suits your needs, learn more about how to find a health care provider, here.

It might also interest you: