Allergies are pretty common. More than 50 million people in the US experience various types of allergies per year, and often, living with allergies can be a challenge. For one, allergies are also associated with various common ailments, such as sore throat, skin irritation, cough, and nose bleeds. While there is currently no cure for allergies, the good news is that there is a way to manage them. Here are some steps you can take to make living with allergies manageable.
Environmental Allergy Avoidance
One of the best ways to manage your allergy is to eliminate or reduce your exposure to your allergy triggers. As the adage goes, “prevention is better than cure,” which also applies to allergy management. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (ACAAI) identifies dust mites, pollen, pets, mold, cockroaches, and other irritants as some of the most common allergy triggers. As such, you need to be proactive in avoiding these triggers. Try staying indoors as much as possible during pollen season. To prevent dust mites, you can use dust-proof covers on your bedding. Make sure that you thoroughly clean your house to remove any allergens in your immediate surroundings. You can also invest in HEPA filters, as studies show that these can remove up to 99.97% of dust, pollen, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.
Food Allergy Avoidance
Another common source of allergens is food. Data shows that about 10.8% of adults in the US have food allergies. As mentioned earlier, an allergy has no cure, even if it is triggered by food. When managing food-related allergies, the best way is to avoid food that contains the allergen. This means always reading food labels, which usually include essential allergy information. When dining out, you need to let your server and the restaurant chef know about your food allergy before placing your order so they can consider this when preparing your food. You can also wear a medical ID bracelet that contains relevant details about your allergy. Being proactive in handling your food can minimize any exposure to food-borne allergens.
Manage with Medication
While avoiding your allergy triggers is ideal, there are times when exposure to them is unavoidable. Ultimately, when it comes to managing your allergies, the goal is for you to ease your symptoms in a way that lets you enjoy your life. In cases where avoiding allergens is not doable, there are medications that can help manage your symptoms. These include antihistamines, the most common medications for treating allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. Doctors typically prescribe an epinephrine auto-injector for those with severe allergic reactions, almost instantly reversing life-threatening symptoms. Finally, there are also allergy shots that help in reducing your sensitivity to your allergy triggers.
Allergies can severely impact your quality of life. However, there are ways to manage the symptoms of your allergies. By avoiding environmental and food allergy triggers and being aware of medications available, you can ensure that your allergies remain manageable.