Allergies are a common problem that affects millions of people worldwide. Whether it’s seasonal allergies, food allergies, or pet allergies, the symptoms can be debilitating, impacting your daily life, and derailing your regular activities. Sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes are a few common symptoms of allergies.
The good news is that there are some things that you can incorporate into your life to reduce its effects. So before you cancel all your seasonal plans, only eat gluten-free, grain-free crackers, and retreat to a hermetically sealed room with no windows or sunlight, let’s go over a few of them.
Allergies occur when your immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance as a threat. When exposed to this substance, your immune system releases chemicals, such as histamine, which cause your symptoms. There are several types of allergies, including seasonal allergies, food allergies, and pet allergies. It’s a good idea to know your specific kind or combination.
Things like pollen and other outdoor allergens can cause seasonal allergies, which are also called “hay fever.” Food allergies occur when your body reacts to a specific food. Pet allergies are caused by proteins found in an animal’s dander, urine, or saliva.
Easy Interventions for Allergies
There are a number of things you can do that can help reduce the symptoms of allergies and improve your quality of life.
One of the easiest interventions for allergies is making lifestyle changes. Keeping windows closed during allergy season can help reduce exposure to outdoor allergens.
Pay attention to the weather forecast and try to avoid going outside on days when pollen counts are high. Allergens such as pollen, mold, and dust mites can vary depending on the weather, so it’s important to be aware of when they are at their highest levels.
You can take a shower and change your clothes after spending time outside, as this can help remove any allergens that may have been collected on your skin or clothing. Also, if you have a pet, be sure to keep them well-groomed, as pet dander can be a major allergen for some people.
Lastly, you could use a HEPA filter to remove allergens from the air in your home. This type of filter is designed to capture particles as small as 0.3 microns, which is the size of most allergens.
Over-the-counter medications, such as antihistamines, can be used to manage allergy symptoms. Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of histamine, which is responsible for many allergy symptoms. Medication in the form of nasal sprays, oral medications, and eye drops can help reduce congestion and relieve other symptoms. You should follow the guidance of a medical professional; however, a general rule of thumb is to take these as early in the day as possible. These will be more effective if you take them before symptoms start to occur.
Also known as allergy shots, this intervention involves giving small, incremental doses of the allergen that triggers your seasonal allergies. Over time, as you build up a tolerance, your body gets used to the allergen. As time passes, your symptoms decrease.
It’s a long-term treatment that can take several months to years to complete, but it can be highly effective for some people in reducing symptoms and improving their quality of life.
Using a saline solution to flush out the nasal passages and get rid of excess mucus, dust, and other allergens are called a nasal flush. This can be done with a saline spray or by using a neti pot to pour the solution into the nostrils. This is a quick and easy way to relieve symptoms, and it can be done at home.
Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and herbal remedies, can also be used to manage allergy symptoms. Acupuncture is a way to help the body heal and relieve symptoms by sticking thin needles into certain points of the body. The practitioner may target points on the nose, sinuses, and lungs to help with allergies specifically.
Herbal remedies like butterbur and quercetin have been shown to reduce allergy symptoms. Butterbur is an herb used for a long time to treat allergy symptoms like sneezing, a runny nose, and congestion. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that has been shown to inhibit the release of histamine, which can help reduce the symptoms of hay fever and other allergies.
Both of these treatments come in the form of supplements and should be taken with the help of a doctor or nurse. It’s worth noting that while alternative therapies show promise, they are still unproven and should be done under medical supervision.
Allergies can be a major problem that affects your daily life, but as you can see, there are solutions to reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life. Lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medications, alternative therapies, and allergen immunotherapy are all options that can be considered.
It’s important to work with a doctor to figure out the best way to treat your allergies and to make sure that the treatments are safe. Remember that Anderson Medical Walk-In Clinic is here to help you with your allergy management. You can book an appointment or just walk in to speak with a healthcare professional.