Posted on: April 28, 2008 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 0

Is there anything more embarrassing than repeated sneezing, coughing, or a runny nose when you are working or trying to have fun with friends? Allergies can leave you feeling utterly miserable, and they are something most of us must deal with at one time or another. Some people suffer such intense problems with allergies that they can be outright unbearable. Fortunately, there are a number of steps one can take to both guard against and get rid of allergies from your life.

1. Visit an allergist.

It is important to know just what you might be allergic to. You may think it is the usual suspects like dust or pollen, but it could be something else entirely. It would be a shame to take a major step, like giving away a beloved pet, only to find this was not the cause of your anguish. An allergist will give you an allergy skin test to determine the source of just what is ailing you.

2. Allergy shots.

Are you afraid of needles? If not, immunotherapy can be a great solution. Once your allergist has identified the cause, he or she can inject small doses of the allergen in question under your skin. As with vaccinations, your body eventually develops a tolerance to the allergen, after which it has much less of an effect on you.

While safe for the vast majority of people, some have reported such side effects as dizziness, rapid heartbeat or loss of consciousness from this treatment.

3. Antihistamines.

The easy, go-to source of relief from allergies is Antihistamines, which are widely available in pharmacies and other establishments offering medical products for consumers. There are a number of different types available. Some promise faster results than others, and some boast longer periods of relief. Others have side effects like drowsiness, which you should be careful with if you are operating any kind of motor vehicle.

Talk to your pharmacist or allergist about which kind would be the best choice.

4. Clean your home.

Your allergy problem may not be a serious or recurring issue. One way to be sure is to painstakingly clean your home. Thoroughly dust and vacuum, and try to reduce clutter where dust can accumulate. Wear a N95 Respirator Mask while cleaning and use a damp cloth as it helps to trap allergens to make sure you don’t trigger an allergy attach while you are cleaning.

Make vacuuming and dusting a regular part of your routine going forward, and watch for mold and mildew in the process.

5. Allergy proof your home.

Once you have cleaned, take steps to ensure that issues causing your allergy can no longer take hold. If you cannot regularly vacuum, consider getting rid of your rugs if possible, or switch to ones that are washable.

Dust-mite covers on pillows and mattresses will help you to sleep better at night as will air cleaners that use HEPA filters to catch small particles. Try to keep your upholstered furniture clean or switch to alternatives made of wood, plastic, or other materials that do not allow for the collection of dust.

6. Clean and change your filters.

All the steps you just took to allergy-proof your home will be for nothing if your air conditioner and furnace filters are also not maintained.

A dirty, clogged filter will redistribute allergens throughout your home, and they provide a welcome breeding ground for dust mites. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean these filters, or consider replacing them entirely.

7. Eat a healthy diet.

What we eat plays a large role in our health and can also influence the degree of your allergies. Warm liquids like Consommé and Green Tea can help to clear blockages in the nasal passages. Avoid spicy foods as they trigger the production of histamine, a chemical the body releases during allergic reactions. Pesticide residue on raw foods can also be a contributing factor. Foods containing probiotics and Omega 3 fatty acids have beneficial effects in helping to fight allergy misery.

Eating well is not only good for you; it can also help you get rid of allergies! Consider changing your diet if allergies are giving you a hard time.

8. Vitamin supplements.

If you are leading a healthy lifestyle, vitamins should already be part of your daily regimen. If not, be sure to take products containing Vitamins C and D, Gingko biloba, aloe, Flavonoids, Quercetin, or Butterbur. All are reportedly helpful for the treatments of allergies and allergy-related conditions, but there is currently little scientific evidence to back up the degree of their effectiveness, so use these supplements with that in mind!

9. Nasal rinse.

If you are terribly blocked up and desperate for relief, nasal passages can be quickly unclogged. There are several nasal irrigation products on the market, the most traditional being the Neti Pot.

To perform a proper nasal rinse with this method, you mix lukewarm water with a saline solution inside the pot and then pour the liquid into one nostril with your head titled. The solution flows through the one nostril and out the other, losing the mucus and allowing it to depart as well.

10. Alternative therapies.

Many people fear the ongoing effects of repeatedly relying on medication to treat what ails them and seek out natural alternatives. In the case of allergies, there are several things you can try, including massage, acupuncture, hypnosis and stress reduction. While these have proven effective for issues like stress, there is little documented evidence that they are beneficial in the fight against allergies.

Consider the possibility and check with your insurance provider to see if the cost of any of these treatments is covered.

11. Wear a mask.

We recommended the use of a N95 Respirator Mask while cleaning, but they can also be worn at other times as well. These particulate respirator masks are very effective at preventing you from breathing in allergens, but are not the most attractive or practical solution, particularly if you like to spend a great deal of time outdoors.

Allergies can you leave one feeling utterly miserable and are a particular barrier to enjoying the wonders of springtime. If you find yourself plagued by sneezing, runny nose, or itchy eyes, then try some of the solutions we have suggested. We also recommend that you be proactive so that these issues do not recur. If you are still suffering, consider a return trip to your allergist for advice on what additional medical alternatives are available for you.

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