Suffering from allergies isn’t any fun. Even with mild symptoms like a runny nose and itchy eyes, it’s a daily annoyance. But for some people allergies can be very dangerous, causing their blood pressure to drop and their airways to close.
During the fall, seasonal allergies tend to get worse when some plants release pollen into the air, causing hay fever. Whether you suffer from mild allergies or more serious reactions, these tips from the Federal Citizen Information Center can help you get control of your seasonal and household allergies.
Find out the Cause: The first step in preventing an allergic reaction is knowing what you’re allergic to. Doctors can test for different allergens to help you identify possible culprits in two ways: A blood test or a skin test, in which a small amount of allergen is injected to gauge your reaction.
Eliminate Allergy Triggers: There are several things you can do to help prevent a flare-up of your allergy symptoms:
Keep your house free of dust: Dust mites— microscopic insects that feed on skin flakes— can trigger allergies, so the less dust you have the better off you’ll be. Wear a mask while cleaning to prevent inhaling dust mite droppings and triggering a reaction.
Wash your bedding regularly: Dust and skin cells can get trapped in your sheets and pillowcases. Wash them in hot water (130 degrees F and above) each week to keep them clean.
Keep your pets off furniture: If you’re really allergic to pets, it’s best not to have them. But if you do, make sure they stay off furniture because shed hair and dander can irritate allergies. Also avoid letting your dog or cat lick you. It’s often an animal’s saliva that triggers allergic reactions.
Cut down on mold: Keeping your home dry will cut down on mold growth. Make sure your windows and doors all seal properly to prevent leaks or place a dehumidifier in damp places like the basement to cut down on moisture in the air.
Treat the Symptoms: Once you know what’s causing your reaction, you can look at several treatment options. Some doctors might suggest oral medications to keep your symptoms in check. Others might recommend weekly allergy shots. Review your options and decide which course of treatment fits best with your lifestyle.
By using these tips from the Federal Citizen Information Center you can make living with seasonal and household allergies a little more bearable.
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