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May122011

What will help stop my allergies?

What will help stop my allergies?

An allergy is the hypersensitivity of your body's immune system to a specific substance. It is basically a damaging or abnormal response by your immune system to things like pollen, fur, a particular food, or dust.

Seasonal allergic rhinitis, often called "hay fever", happens at the same two predictable times every year - spring and fall. If you are experiencing itchy eyes, a runny nose, wheezing, skin rash, or diarrhea during either one of these pollen filled seasons, then you probably have allergies.

There are many different medications available to help ease the symptoms of allergies, but there are numerous "tricks" that can be done to help as well.

If an allergy has been identified, like fresh cut grass, then simply avoiding it can be the most helpful factor in controlling allergy symptoms. Attempting to control your environment and practice avoidance measures can significantly aid in resolving symptoms. If you are allergic to fresh cut grass, stay away from it! If you are allergic to cat fur, you could restrict what areas of your home it has access to during these heightened sensitivity seasons - basically keep the cat out of the rooms where you most often are. If it is the pollens in the air wreaking havoc, which is very common, consider air conditioning to keep those allergens out of the house! It is not always easy to avoid a known allergen, but it can be the most effective way to relieve your symptoms.

Another trick that can often help is drinking more water each day. Drinking extra water every day during allergy season can keep mucus in the nose and sinuses thinner so your symptoms will not be as severe!

Rinsing out your nose and sinuses a few times each day can do wonders. A nasal rinse with a saline solution washes away allergens and can certainly help ease symptoms. There is a variety of different nasal spray products available to suit your needs.

A healthy diet is a great way to keep inflammation of the mucous membranes down. Eat more dark vegetables and certain fruits that contain the extra antioxidants and vitamin C needed to better support your immune system! Cutting back on sugar and dairy is also key. Dairy products tend to increase mucus production and sugar consumption will increase your body's inflammation levels and suppress your immune system.

When you have been outdoors and are going home, there are a couple things to keep in mind as well. First, you want to leave your shoes at the door! That way you will not be tracking pollen and other allergens all over your house. Second, have a shower before going to bed. You certainly do not want to be rubbing pollen you've gathered all day onto your pillow and then inhale it all night long.

If you are heading out, wear sunglasses outdoors. This can significantly help with keeping airborne allergens out of your eyes. Wear them even when it's cloudy!

Many of these tricks will help relieve your allergy symptoms, but it is always a good idea to see your doctor if your allergies are particularly diffcult for you.

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