Allergies – what can you do about them?
Simple Tips to Treat and Prevent Allergies
Seasonal allergies are a major source of concern for many people. Although spring is usually a reason for most people to celebrate, for allergy sufferers, those winter thaws are a sure sign that several months of misery are just around the corner. The problem is that the warmer weather brings with it a huge burst of pollen and other allergens, which can wreak havoc on those prone to allergies.
Luckily, there are a number of tips that you can use to hopefully help prevent your allergies or at least lessen the severity of your symptoms.
Easy Ways to Minimize Your Allergen Exposure
Keeping your windows closed and the air conditioner on is generally the best way to prevent pollen from getting in the house. As well, basic acts like not hanging your clothes outside to dry and leaving your shoes outside also help cut down on pollen in the home.
However, since it’s not likely that you can just spend the entire spring indoors, you’ll need to take steps to ensure that the pollen and other allergens you are exposed to cause as little irritation as possible. This can easily be accomplished through by taking the following precautionary measures.
- Wash your hair immediately after spending any significant amount of time outdoors
- Change your clothes as soon as you get home and make sure to wash clothes regularly
- Regularly clean out your sinuses by irrigating with a saltwater nose rinse
- Use eyedrops as needed to soothe irritation, as they’ll also rinse out any pollen from your eyes
- Keep your home clean, and preferably use a HEPA-filter vacuum at least once a week
Finding Effective Allergy Relief
While all of the above tips can definitely help provide at least some allergy relief, those suffering from moderate to severe seasonal allergies will likely still need to seek treatment. Over-the-counter allergy medications may be a decent place to start, but if the problems persist, you’ll likely need to see an allergist to find the relief you need.
Prescription steroid nasal sprays such as Nasonex and Flonase can be effective at reducing swelling and inflammation in the nose and sinuses and may be able to provide relief from at least some of your symptoms. An alternative option is the use of prescription antihistamine sprays, which are generally stronger and thus more effective than the over-the-counter antihistamines. Prescription eye drops can also be used to soothe and treat allergic conjunctivitis.
Whether caused by seasonal allergens like pollen or some other allergen altogether, allergies tend to run in the family. This is why properly diagnosing and treating allergy problems generally requires a thorough examination of the patient’s family and personal medical histories.
In some cases, a specialist may even determine that surgery may be able to provide the patient with the greatest level of relief, such as when nasal polyps, septum deviation or other issues are contributing to the severity of the symptoms.
Every person’s body reacts differently to certain allergens, which means that every allergy case is different. Thus, what may provide immediate relief for one person may have zero effect on the next person. That being said, relief is out there for you, and the first step to finding it is by finding out what’s actually causing your allergies and then avoiding it as best as possible.