Itchy eyes, scratchy throat, sinus headaches, skin rashes, and trouble breathing can all be symptoms of an allergy attack. Consequently, these allergies can be detrimental to people who have them.
This article will examine some simple ways to assist in combating and perhaps even preventing allergy attacks.
1. See an allergist.
An allergist is a medical doctor specializing in treating all allergies, from seasonal pollen or dust allergies to insect stings and food sensitivity.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology recommends seeing an allergist if your allergies are persistent, causing symptoms for multiple months each year. Additionally, this also applies if your allergies are causing trouble breathing and interfering with your everyday life.
An allergist will test for and diagnose your sensitivities to specific allergens. Subsequently, they may prescribe medication, suggest prevention strategies, or provide immunotherapy treatments.
2. Consider immunotherapy.
Your allergist or primary care doctor may recommend immunotherapy as allergy shots or sublingual tablets.
Similar to vaccinations, allergy shots usually include some extract or form of the problematic allergens. Shots are administered every week or two and gradually get stronger, allowing the body to adjust, develop antibodies, and build up a tolerance to different allergens.
Sublingual tablets are available to treat pollen, ragweed, and dust allergies and are administered by dissolving a tablet under the tongue. These tablets are taken daily and usually begin several weeks or months before peak allergy season for the best effect. Additionally, sublingual treatments are also provided in the form of drops instead of tablets.
According to the Mayo Clinic, eating locally grown honey can offer sweet relief for seasonal allergies. Not only is honey a known cough suppressant, but honey can contain trace elements of flower pollen and therefore serve as a natural form of immunotherapy.
3. De-allergen your cleaning supplies.
Many cleaning supplies contain harsh chemicals to kill bacteria, mold, and dust mites. Consequently, these chemicals can also be harmful when they come in contact with the skin.
Natural cleaning agents with a vinegar, isopropyl alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide base are often just as effective and much gentler. Similarly, consider replacing laundry pods that typically contain harsh chemicals that stick to your clothing with ones that have more natural ingredients.
Additionally, change your dryer sheets to unscented ones to avoid chemical scents mixing, or use wool dryer balls as a sustainable alternative. If you must use cleansers, be sure to double rinse your shower, clothes, and surfaces.
4. Regularly replace your air filters.
Airborne allergens are the typical culprits for many respiratory woes. As a result, the use of a high-quality air filter can help, specifically a High-Efficiency Particulate Airfilter (HEPA) device.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a HEPA filter uses “a combination of technologies to filter 99.9% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles” with a size of 0.3 microns. This includes pollen and grasses, dust, and other nasty nasal offenders.
Standard air filters in air conditioning units can also be somewhat helpful. Consequently, we recommend using room filters as whole-home filters can be difficult to maintain and less effective. This is especially true if you don’t have forced air heat or air conditioning. Be sure to clean and replace filter cartridges every six months.
5. Consider over-the-counter allergy treatments.
There are three main types of OTC allergy treatments available.
The first is allergy-targeted antihistamines such as Claritin or Zyrtec. These daily medications come in liquid or pill form. They work by blocking the body’s histamine response system which causes swelling, sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
Next, decongestants like Sudafed work by narrowing blood vessels to reduce inflammation, and as such can affect heart rate and blood pressure for short-term use.
Finally, nasal steroids like Flonase are the most expensive and take the longest to work but may be a good option for someone with season-long allergies. Be sure to learn more about the allergy treatments available to you before just picking one.
6. Take frequent showers and use humidification.
Frequent hot showers and the use of a good humidifier or vaporizer can help break up allergens that get lodged in your sinuses and make you miserable.
According to Healthline, breathing higher humidity air is one way to relieve the discomfort and symptoms of allergies. The heat and moisture allow your nasal tissues to blow out irritants and allergens, reducing allergy symptoms.
It’s important that any humidifier is cleaned weekly with a disinfectant cleaner to kill any mold or mildew which can grow in damp places and create a worse situation for allergy sufferers.
7. Use nasal and sinus rinses.
Neti Pots and sinus rinses clear out nasal congestion. It works by pouring a saline solution from a small pot, through both nostrils and nasal passages in an effort to wash out mucus and other particulates.
Neti pots originated in ancient India through the practice of Indian Ayurveda as part of regular hygiene (Neti is Hindu for “body cleansing.”) and have mixed reviews. These rinses are kind of gross but work well to temporarily relieve symptoms.
These, too, can harbor harmful bacteria. Clean them regularly. Use a disinfecting spray or antibacterial wash such as undiluted white vinegar between uses.
8. Keep an allergy diary.
When trying to figure out your allergy treatment plan, keeping a diary of your daily symptoms may be helpful.
You should record the daily pollen index, current temperature, weather conditions, humidity, and any symptoms you have and their severity. You’ll be able to see any trends and predict when allergies may flare up, so you can take some of the preventative measures listed here.
There are also a variety of mobile apps that automatically track the statistics mentioned.
If you’re affected by awful allergies, combatting and preventing them can become your life’s mission. Living a healthy lifestyle is an ongoing affair. We hope some of these takeaways will help you on your journey to better health and easy breathing.