By Sandy Chester, RN
You don't really realize how much you take breathing for granted until your nose is all stuffed up!
An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful, and overreacts to it. These substances are called allergens and can enter the body through many ways. Allergens can stimulate an allergic reaction when you breathe in or touch the allergen. You can also ingest allergens through food, beverages and medications. You can also receive it though injections of medications or from insect stings and bites. Once the allergic reaction starts you know it!
This reaction could cause:
- Coughing sneezing
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Scratchy throat
- In severe cases, it can cause rashes, hives, low blood pressure, breathing trouble, asthma attacks and even death
* While there is not yet a cure for allergies, you don’t have to be miserable. You can manage your allergies with prevention and treatment.*
Here Are Some Tips for Keeping Your Life Allergy-Free:
1. Keep your windows and doors closed.
2. Install a HEPA filter on your air-conditioning system.
3. Use a dehumidifier to help prevent mold growth
4. Limit the time you spend outside during the days with high amounts of pollen or smog.
5. Wear a mask to keep allergens from getting in your airway.
6. Take a shower and change your clothes to wash away any allergens. Leave your shoes at the door.
7. Eat healthy and stay hydrated.
8. Keep pets outside. If that is not possible, keep them out of your bedroom.
9. Keep your home clean. It's one of the best ways to avoid indoor allergens.
10. Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter to trap allergens and vacuum weekly.
11. Clean your bathroom and kitchen surfaces with bleach to reduce mold.
12. Mattresses are prime sources of dust mites and other allergens; encase your mattress and pillows in plastic or an allergy-proof cover. Wash pillows and mattress pads weekly in hot water.
13. Avoid cigarette smoke.
14. Avoid other fumes that can make your symptoms worse such as aerosol sprays, perfumes, room deodorizers and smoke from wood-burning fireplaces.
15. Know your triggers and treat your allergies. There are many effective treatments including over the counter medications, natural alternative therapies and immunotherapy. Always remember ask your healthcare provider for information.
**CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF YOUR SYMPTOMS GET WORSE OR IF HOME TREATMENTS DON’T WORK.