What Are The Things You Can Do To Minimize Allergy Symptoms?
If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from allergies, you’re also likely to experience congestion, sneezing, a runny nose, and other irritating symptoms. Additionally, watery eyes, or itchy red, a scratchy throat, itching sensation, or ear fullness, a post-nasal drip sensation, or a minor cough may occur. Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, can be discomforting.
If you suffer from these allergy symptoms, you are not alone – between 10% and 30% of the population suffers from similar symptoms. Allergy symptoms are responsible for millions of missed school and workdays each year and cost the healthcare system billions of dollars.
What are Allergy Symptoms?
An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it. The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction. The substances that cause allergic reactions are known as allergens. Allergens can get into your body in many ways to cause an allergic reaction.
- Allergens can be inhaled through the nose and lungs. Numerous species are small enough to float in the air. House dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and latex dust are all examples.
- By mouth, allergens can be ingested. This includes food and medications consumed or ingested.
- Allergens can be injected into your body. This category includes medication administered via needle and venom derived from insect stings and bites.
- Your skin is capable of absorbing allergens. Plants such as sumac, oak, and poison ivy can cause allergic reactions when touched. Other examples include latex, metals, and ingredients in personal care and household products.
Minimize Allergy Symptoms
Without medication, the best way to control allergies is to avoid them altogether, but this is not always possible or realistic. Specific allergens, such as pollen, are microscopic, which allows them to travel great distances and cover a large amount of ground, surfaces, skin, and hair.
Therefore, if you have severe allergy symptoms that require medication, there are numerous ways to minimize your symptoms and resume your favorite activities, including the following:
Keep Indoor Air Clean
- Air conditioning should be used in both your home and car.
- If you have air conditioning in your home or forced air heating, use high-efficiency filters and regularly maintain your system.
- Using a dehumidifier, you can keep the air in your home dry.
- Use a portable, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to reduce airborne particles in your bedroom.
- Vacuum your floors regularly with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.
Wear a Mask
Mask-wearing has become ingrained in the culture of many people, and with reason. Not only does this assist in protecting others from your cold or flu symptoms, but it can also assist in protecting you from pollen and other allergens.
An N95 respirator mask (available at most pharmacies, medical supply stores, and home improvement retailers) will filter out 95% of the small particles that trigger seasonal allergies.
Water, sugar-free juice, and other nonalcoholic beverages can help thin the mucus in your nasal passages, allowing you to breathe easier. Additionally, warm teas, broths, and soups provide beneficial steam.
Try an Over-the-counter Remedy
Allergy symptoms can be alleviated by using a variety of nonprescription medications. They are as follows:
Sneezing, itching, a runny nose, and watery eyes can all be relieved with antihistamines. Cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy), Loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), and fexofenadine are all examples of oral antihistamines (Allegra Allergy).
A nasal spray can help alleviate allergy symptoms and has no severe side effects, though it is most effective when used before the onset of symptoms.
Nasal congestion can be relieved quickly, effectively, and affordably by rinsing your nasal passages with nasacort or flonase. Rinsing flushes mucus and allergens directly from your nose.
Congestion can be relieved temporarily with the use of oral decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine (Afrinol, Sudafed, and other similar medications). Some decongestants, such as oxymetazoline (Afrin) and phenylephrine, are also available as nasal sprays (Neo-Synephrine).
Nasal decongestants should only be used for a few days at a time. The use of decongestant nasal sprays for an extended period of time can worsen symptoms (rebound congestion).
Combination of Medications
Some allergy medications include both an antihistamine and a decongestant in one pill. Claritin-D (loratadine-pseudoephedrine) and fexofenadine-pseudoephedrine (Fexofen-D) are two examples of pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D).
When Home Remedies Aren’t Enough, Consult Your Doctor
For many people, avoiding allergens and using OTC medications alleviates symptoms. However, if your allergies persist, do not despair. Additional treatments are available.
If you have severe allergies, your doctor may recommend skin tests or blood tests to determine which allergens are causing your symptoms. Testing can assist you in determining the steps you should take to avoid your specific triggers and determine which treatments are most likely to be effective for you.
Allergy shots (allergen immunotherapy) may be a good option for some people. Also known as desensitization, this treatment entails receiving regular injections containing trace amounts of the allergens. These injections gradually reduce the immune system response that causes symptoms. Certain allergies can be treated with tablets and capsules.
Various factors can cause allergy symptoms to manifest themselves. However, there are methods for reducing the severity of these effects. If you are already experiencing severe allergy symptoms, you should consult your doctor before attempting any of these remedies.