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What Can You Do For Allergies

Immunotherapy For Allergies To Pollen

Allergist discusses what you can do now to help with fall allergies

In some cases, your clinical immunology/allergy specialist may suggest allergen immunotherapy which is also known as desensitisation. It involves a series of injections, tablets, sprays or drops given under the tongue of very small doses of the allergen over a long time. This can help to improve tolerance of the pollens that are triggering your allergy and reduce symptoms.

Staying Inside At Peak Points Of The Day

This treatment method may be easier this year than in years past staying indoors with the windows and doors closed can help prevent worsening allergy symptoms, Fonacier said. Midday and afternoon hours are typically when pollen counts are highest, so keep this in mind as you consider your days and when you plan to leave the house.

This goes for the car, too even though a fresh breeze can feel invigorating, youll want to go for air conditioning and keep the windows closed to limit the amount of pollen that you come into contact with.

Avoid Exposure To Allergens

Whether you have severe or milder allergic reactions, knowing what triggers your allergies is important so you can avoid them. Avoidance is the most effective way to prevent any allergic reaction, including anaphylaxis. Develop an avoidance plan with your doctor thats customized to your age, lifestyle and home environment.

Carefully read food labels and labels of other products that could contain allergens. And be aware that fragrances and dyes can irritate your skin.

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What Are The Most Common Triggers For Anaphylactic Shock

According to Anaphylaxis UK: “Anything can be an allergen, but the most common allergens that may trigger anaphylaxis are food, drugs, insects, or latex.”

  • Food – the 14 major food allergens are nuts, gluten 5, sulphites/sulphur dioxide , celery, crustacean, egg, fish, lupin beans, milk, mustard, mollusc, sesame, and soya.
  • Drugs – while they tend to be safe for most people, certain medicinal drugs may cause allergic reactions. Common examples include antibiotics and painkillers .
  • An insect sting or bite – some people are highly allergic to the venom injected through some insect bites and stings – for example, wasp or bee stings.
  • Latex – certain people are allergic to proteins found in latex, a material made from the rubber tree. Products made from latex include balloons, gloves, and condoms.

What Is A Grass Pollen Allergy

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Grasses are one of the most common causes of allergy. Each year, plants release tiny pollen grains to fertilize other plants of the same species. Unfortunately for people with grass allergies, this pollen triggers allergic reactions. Symptoms of a grass pollen allergy include:

  • Runny nose
  • Itchy nose, eyes, ears and mouth
  • Stuffy nose
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Swelling around the eyes

You may not see the grass pollen in the air, but your body can react to even small amounts.

Many people know pollen allergy as hay fever. Experts usually refer to pollen allergy as seasonal allergic rhinitis.

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Ten Ways To Control Allergies Without Medication

The best way to control allergies without medication is to avoid them altogether, but thats not always possible, or realistic. Some allergens like pollen are tiny, which means they can travel long distances and cover a lot of ground, surfaces, skin and hair. So, unless you have severe allergy symptoms that require medication, there are a lot of ways you can alleviate your symptoms and get back to doing the things you love, including:

  • Saline nasal irrigationA nasal rinse clears mucus from your nose and can ease allergy symptoms. Not only can it reduce nasal drip, but it can also wash out any bacteria or allergies youve inhaled.
  • HEPA filtersA high-efficiency particulate air filter is a mechanical filter that works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles like pollen, pet dander, dust mites and tobacco smoke. Replace HEPA filters monthly for best results.
  • Try ProbioticsProbiotics may help reduce allergy symptoms when taken during allergy season. Some strains of beneficial bacteria have been shown to regulate t-cells , which can help produce a stronger immune response to common allergens.
  • Take vitamin CVitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine by reducing the amount of histamine your body produces in response to an allergen. It might help reduce mild symptoms like congestion, runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. The recommended dose is 2,000 milligrams per day.
  • Avoiding Exposure To Allergens

    The best way to keep your symptoms under control is often to avoid the things you’re allergic to, although this is not always practical.

    For example, you may be able to help manage:

    • food allergies by being careful about what you eat
    • animal allergies by keeping pets outside as much as possible and washing them regularly
    • mould allergies by keeping your home dry and well-ventilated, and dealing with any damp and condensation
    • hay fever by staying indoors and avoiding grassy areas when the pollen count is high
    • dust mite allergies by using allergy-proof duvets and pillows, and fitting wooden floors rather than carpets

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    How Can I Manage My Grass Allergy Symptoms

    The first step is to get properly tested and diagnosed. Once your allergist knows what specific allergens cause your symptoms, they can work with you to create a plan.

    There are over-the-counter and prescription pills, liquids, or nasal sprays that can help reduce or prevent grass allergy symptoms. These medicines include antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal corticosteroids. Most allergy medicines work best when you start taking them before pollen season begins. This allows the medicine to prevent your body from releasing histamine and other chemicals that cause your symptoms.

    But if you do not get complete relief from your grass pollen allergy symptoms from these medicines, you may benefit from immunotherapy . Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that can help prevent or reduce the severity of allergic reactions. It can change the course of allergic disease by modifying the bodys immune response to allergens.

    There are two types of immunotherapy available for grass allergy: allergy shots and allergy tablets.

    Both forms of allergy immunotherapy are prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor to get started on your allergy treatment plan.

    When To See A Doctor

    All About Allergies

    If OTC allergy drugs dont stop the allergic reaction, see your doctor immediately. Also, if you notice an allergic reaction after starting a new drug, reach the doctor that recommended it immediately.

    In severe cases, like anaphylaxis, seek emergency medical assistance. If you have epinephrine on you, self-administer the medication as soon as you notice symptoms of an allergic reaction.

    You should still visit the emergency room after the injection. If you have had an anaphylactic reaction before, schedule an appointment to visit your doctor.

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    Dust Your Furniture Regularly

    Go a week without vacuuming or dusting your furniture, especially in a sunny well lit room and youll notice a film of dust collecting on bedside tables, dresser drawers and any other surface that doesnt get touched often.

    If you dont have a regular cleaning routine that includes dusting and often wake up with a stuffy nose, dust mites may be to blame. A dust mite allergy is more common than you might realize.

    You may be at higher risk for dust mites too if your bedroom decor includes large heavy drapes, lots of decorative pillows and upholstered furniture. Carpeting, shaggy rugs, stuffed animals, dolls, and books are also dust traps that need to be vacuumed often or dusted regularly.

    Use Caution At Restaurants

    If you eat out, let restaurant staff know about your allergies. Dont worry about bothering them or making a scene. Compared to you going into full-blown anaphylaxis during dessert, asking about peanuts and eggs in advance is actually quite considerate. Believe me, if a server or cook has ever witnessed a customer having an allergic reaction in their establishment, they never want to have that happen again. You can download an official-looking Chef Card from FoodAllergy.org , to fill out and carry in your wallet, to make sure you get the staffs attention.

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    Cauliflower Squash Cheese Sauce

    Were pretty sure that you will no longer feel the need for or even want dairy-based cheese sauce after you make and try this plant-based version. Its creamy, flavorful, and chock-full of fiber. Unlike dairy, which has zero fiber , this cheesy sauce can support a healthy gut, which in turn supports a healthy immune system. Enjoy this on top of tacos, as a legume pasta sauce, or drizzled over your favorite steamed veggies!

    Bu Today: What Can People Do To Decrease Their Pollen Exposure

    How To Help Allergies and 5 Things You Can Do Today

    Fred Little:Unlike somebody with a food allergy, who can control their exposure to that food, its very hard to control exposure to pollens, as theyre so pervasive. Even indoors: as we come in and out of our houses, we wear the clothes we were wearing outdoors and bring pollens into the house. There are some things that can be done to minimize pollen levels in the house. For one, if you have the resources, keep windows closed during the night and day and use air conditioners to keep the air cool. For people with really bad allergies to pollens, they might want to change out of their outside clothes when they come inside and wash them . That can be helpful for people who have severe allergies and want to keep the house as pollen-free as possible. But no house or apartment is airtight, so it can be hard to keep the outdoor environment from coming indoors.

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    Home Remedies For Pollen Allergies

    The first step is to talk with your healthcare provider about getting tested to determine if, in fact, your allergy is caused by pollen and that it’s not something like a chemical sensitivity, Wright says. Every spring, millions of people seek out allergy relief through over-the-counter drugs without really knowing their diagnosis,” she says. “But weve seen firsthand how life-changing it can be when you finally know whats causing those problems with breathing, itching, rashes, or congestion.”

    Symptoms Of Spring Allergies:

    Spring allergy symptoms are typical of respiratory allergies, these include:

    • Sinus Congestion
    • Coughing
    • Itchy or Watery Eyes

    Determining what is causing your symptoms is the first step towards relief, in the case of spring allergies there are several things you can do to help ease your symptoms. The seasonal allergy season can be difficult to navigate.

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    Keep Medication On Hand

    Prevention is key, but you also need to have a plan in case an allergen slips by, and you start reacting. If youre prone to severe reactions or if your reactions are becoming more and more severe over time carry an EpiPen or an over-the-counter antihistamine with you at all times.

    Children with peanut allergies can now also access an oral immunotherapy called Palforzia, which the US FDA approved in January of 2020.

    Find Out What Youre Allergic To

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    In order to treat your allergies, you have to know what youre up against.

    An allergy test can help identify substances that trigger allergic reactions in your body. These substances, known as allergens, can be things you breathe in, things you touch, or things you eat.

    A skin prick allergy test involves exposing the skin on your arm or back to small amounts of allergens to then see what you react to. These tests are typically done in a single sitting, and youll get results right away.

    A blood allergy test can also check for allergens and is useful if you take a medication that can interfere with results or if your doctor suspects you may have a severe allergic reaction to even a tiny amount of an allergen.

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    What Is Allergic Rhinitis

    Allergic rhinitis is the medical term for hay fever or allergies. You have an allergy when your body overreacts to things that dont cause problems for most people. These things are called allergens. Your bodys overreaction to the allergens is what causes symptoms.

    There are 2 forms of allergic rhinitis:

    • Seasonal : Caused by an allergy to pollen and/or mold spores in the air. Pollen is the fine powder that comes from flowering plants. It can be carried through the air and is easily inhaled. Symptoms are seasonal and usually occur in spring, late summer, and fall.
    • Perennial: Caused by other allergens such as dust mites, pet hair or dander, or mold. Symptoms occur year-round.

    Hay fever is the most common form of allergy. Symptoms of hay fever are seasonal. You will feel worse when the pollens that affect you are at their highest levels.

    How To Manage An Allergy

    In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible.

    For example, if you have a food allergy, you should check a food’s ingredients list for allergens before eating it.

    There are also several medicines available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:

    • antihistamines these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen, to stop a reaction occurring
    • tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose
    • lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams these can reduce skin redness and itchiness
    • steroid medicines sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can help reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction

    For some people with very severe allergies, a treatment called immunotherapy may be recommended.

    This involves being exposed to the allergen in a controlled way over a number of years so your body gets used to it and does not react to it so severely.

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    Fight Allergies With Immunotherapy

    Immunotherapy is the only way to truly change the way your immune system and allergy response to allergens like pollen and ragweed, explained Michael Mardiney, Jr., MD, an allergist at MD Mercy Hospital in Baltimore. People who are treated with immunotherapy receive injections containing the substances they are allergic to, in increasing amounts once or twice a week. This desensitizes the immune system over time. Immunotherapy is usually the best treatment when your seasonal allergy symptoms occur year-round or when you don’t have enough success with allergy medication.

    Understand Your Pet Allergies

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    It is important to see a doctor and be tested to determine what allergies you actually have. You may find that you’re allergic to something else and not your pet at all! For example, you may assume that you are allergic to your beloved dog, only to find out through an allergy test that you’re actually allergic to a specific tree pollen that got on his fur during a walk together, and that’s actually what’s bothering you.

    If an allergy test shows that you are allergic to your pet, it is important to understand what causes your allergic reaction to them. There are allergy-triggering proteins called allergens in saliva and skin glands that cling to an animal’s dry skin and fur. The fur and dander then stick to walls, carpets and clothing.

    The reaction of someone to these allergens is different from one person to the next. The reaction may range from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma. The reaction can be made worse if a person is additionally exposed to other things he is allergic too, such as pollen, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and mold.

    Whether someone has an allergic reaction depends on both the individual person and the individual animal. A person with animal allergies may react less to dogs with soft, constantly growing hair, or one specific cat or dog may cause more or less of an allergic reaction than another animal of that same breed.

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    Keeping A Record Of Your Symptoms

    Keep a diary that describes your symptoms and when and where they occur. Your diary could include information about whether your symptoms occur:

    • inside your home, outside or both
    • for a short time or longer
    • at night, during the day or when you wake up
    • at a particular time of the year
    • near animals
    • after you have been stung or bitten by an insect
    • after you have had a particular food or drink
    • after you have taken a particular medication, either prescription or over the counter from a pharmacy or supermarket
    • after you have taken a herbal medicine.

    Spring Is Here 5 Things Allergy Sufferers Need To Know

    Due to global climate changes, allergists warn that spring allergy season continues to worsen each year. Dr. Jigisha Morosky, an allergist/immunologist with Starling Physicians, addresses the most common questions about seasonal allergies.

    How do you know if it is a cold, allergy or COVID?

    Sometimes it is difficult for people to determine if sniffles, sneezes, sore throat and coughs are caused by allergies, a cold or even sinusitis. Dr. Morosky explains that nasal allergy symptoms and common cold symptoms are essentially identical. Variables we examine are exposure to an allergen, like pollen or a pet, the duration of symptoms months versus 1 to 2 weeks, and if there is improvement while taking allergy medications.

    Spring allergies can cause itchy water eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezing, coughing and even hives. The symptoms of a cold are often characterized by runny nose, sore throat and cough. Patients with severe seasonal allergies can feel very fatigued and have low grade fever making the distinction even harder.

    Acute sinusitis is characterized by a stuffy or runny nose accompanied by pain in the forehead and/or over the cheeks. Often both the common cold and allergies can cause swelling of the nasal passages, which prevent the sinuses from draining, then this can lead to sinusitis. Sinusitis can be treated with antibiotics, however it often recurs if due to uncontrolled allergies.

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