For many people, allergies are often mild and seasonal. However, for others, allergies may be so severe that they interfere with their quality of life. Severe allergies can be distressing and sometimes devastating to deal with. Here are three things you can do to cope with severe allergies:
1. Identifying your allergens
Top environmental allergens include:
You may be allergic to multiple allergens or highly allergic to a single allergen. If you cannot find the exact source of your allergies, your doctor may do a skin test to determine what substances you are potentially allergic to.
2. Controlling the allergen
Once identified, control or eliminate the allergen. For example:
- Animal dander: Don’t allow pets into your bedroom. Brush your dog outside to prevent allergens from entering the home. When shopping for furniture, choose leather over fabric if possible.
- Dust mites: Use allergy-proof covers for bedding. Wash your bedding weekly in hot water to kill anything that may be causing allergies.
- Mold: Apply a mixture of a cleaning solution made with 5% bleach and a small amount of detergent on your walls.
- Pollen: Keep your windows shut and use the air conditioner when staying indoors. You can also install a high-efficiency particulate absorbing filter in your air-conditioning system and a panel filter in your furnace. When driving, make sure your car windows are shut.
3. Getting appropriate treatment
Allergy treatments won’t necessarily cure your allergies, but they can help reduce your symptoms. Commonly prescribed medications include:
- Antihistamines to treat a runny nose and itching eyes
- Decongestants to reduce stuffiness
- Nasal steroids to reduce inflammation
- Immunotherapy or allergy shots
For some people, medications may stop working over time so they may need to switch to another medication.
5 natural ways to fight allergies
If you suffer from allergies, it’s important to do what you can to keep them at bay:
- After being outdoors, take a shower and change to get rid of any allergens that may be in your clothes, shoes, hair, and skin.
- Wear an N95 mask when you have to visit areas that may have allergens. An N95 mask blocks 95% of small particles from being breathed into your system.
- Try adding one fresh fruit and vegetable to every meal. Studies have shown that eating healthy amounts of fresh vegetables and fruits may be correlated with fewer allergy symptoms, although there isn't enough concrete evidence to prove that. Either way, eating a balanced diet has many other health benefits.
- Drink more water and other nonalcoholic drinks if you feel stuffy or have a runny nose. Warm liquids, such as tea, broth, or soup can give you some relief.
- Use natural household cleaners instead of ones with harsh chemicals to avoid worsening symptoms.
When to seek medical help
Always keep an EpiPen with you if you are prone to severe allergy attacks. Seek medical help immediately if you have anaphylaxis or other severe allergy symptoms such as:
- Trouble breathing
- Swelling in the face and lips
- Tightness in the lungs
- Chest pain
- Blood pressure changes
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
WebMD. 12 Natural Ways to Defeat Allergies. https://www.webmd.com/allergies/ss/slideshow-natural-relief
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Allergic Rhinitis. https://acaai.org/allergies/types/hay-fever-rhinitis
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