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
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
Top What Can You Do for Severe Allergies? Related Articles
Common Allergies: Symptoms and SignsWhat are allergies? Pollen, food, perfumes, and many more things can provoke allergy symptoms. Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system where the body's defenses react to certain allergens. Learn about common allergy triggers and how you can avoid an allergy attack.
Allergies QuizWhat are the causes of allergies? This online quiz challenges your knowledge of common food and household allergens, environmental triggers, allergic diseases and conditions, and allergy symptoms and treatments.
Allergy (Allergies)An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Allergy ShotsAllergy shots are given to increase your tolerance to allergens that cause allergy symptoms. At the beginning, allergy shots will be administered once or twice a week for several months. The dose is increased each time until a maintenance dose is reached. Side effects of allergy shots include itchy eyes, shortness of breath, runny nose, tight throat, redness, swelling, and irritation.
Allergy Treatment Begins at HomeAvoiding allergy triggers at home is one of the best ways to prevent allergy symptoms. Controlling temperature, humidity, and ventilation are a few ways to allergy-proof the home. Cleaning, vacuuming, and using HEPA air filters also helps control allergies.
Cold, Flu, Allergy TreatmentsBefore treating a cold, the flu, or allergies with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, it's important to know what's causing the symptoms, which symptoms one wishes to relieve, and the active ingredients in the OTC product. Taking products that only contain the medications needed for relieving your symptoms prevents ingestion of unnecessary medications and reduces the chances of side effects.
Eye Allergies PictureSevere allergic eye symptoms can be very distressing and are a common reason for visits to the allergist or ophthalmologist. See a picture of Eye Allergies and learn more about the health topic.
Home Allergy Quiz: Is Your Home Allergy Proof?Take this home allergy quiz and test your knowledge on allergens, dust mites, pollens and more to see how allergy-proof your home is.
How Do You Know if You Are Allergic to Pollen?Pollen is a powdery yellow grain that fertilizes other plants of the same species. The only way to know for sure if a person has pollen allergy is to see a board-certified allergist for allergy testing.
Ways to Reduce Mold AllergiesWebMD shows you 10 ways to fight the fungus and reduce mold allergy symptoms from dust masks to bottles of bleach.
Allergies SlideshowLearn 10 signs your allergies are out of control. See these surprising allergy symptoms and find out how to get relief for sneezing, congestion, watery eyes, and more.
How to Differentiate Between the Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19, Allergies, Cold, and Flu?Coronavirus disease or COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Most people with COVID-19 will experience a mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without the need for intensive or special treatment. Serious illness is more likely in elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer.
Skin Test for AllergyAn allergy skin test helps identify triggers for one's allergic reactions. Small amounts of allergy-provoking substances (allergens) are scratched into the skin. Redness and swelling develop if one is allergic to the substance. A positive allergy skin test implies that the person has an IgE antibody response to that substance. The test is rapid, simple, and relatively safe.
What Are the Four Types of Allergic Reactions?Allergists recognize four types of allergic reactions: Type I or anaphylactic reactions, type II or cytotoxic reactions, type III or immunocomplex reactions and type IV or cell-mediated reactions.
What Are Typical Allergy Symptoms?Allergy symptoms differ depending on the type of allergy and body part involved. For example, food allergies may cause different symptoms than nasal allergies or eye allergies. The severity of symptoms may also vary, ranging from mild irritation to a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.
What Nuts Are the Worst for Allergies?A nut allergy develops when the body's immune system becomes oversensitive to a particular protein in a nut. Nuts that are the worst for allergies include peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, Brazil nuts and pine nuts.