What You Need to Know About Allergy Remedies
Do you constantly battle allergy-related sniffling, coughing, or breathlessness? More than 50 million people experience allergies, according to the AAFA, and many allergy sufferers find symptom relief difficult, feeling like they’ll never be free from allergies.
Fortunately, there are many remedies available for everything from seasonal sniffles to year-round allergies. Before you accept defeat in your fight against allergy management, seek relief using these reputable remedies and approaches.
Identify Your Allergens
Do you know which specific allergens trigger your symptoms, or do you have self-diagnosed allergies? If you've never seen a medical professional for allergy testing, request an appointment. A scratch test reveals allergens, and it also classifies the severity of your triggers. This gives you insight regarding which allergens are simply minor annoyances while also helping you identify allergens you must avoid whenever possible.
Allergy tests can identify hundreds of allergens, but your doctor may prefer to focus on specific categories. For example, your doctor may test you for a tree or grass allergy if you get itchy outside, or she may run tests to check your response to animal dander and saliva if you have furry friends at home. Your doctor may also run tests to rule out dietary allergies, especially if you experience shortness of breath or intense discomfort.
Depending on the severity of your allergies and your personal preferences, you can request a blood test or a scratch test. Some patients find blood tests more convenient, but keep in mind that foodallergy.org reports nearly half of all blood tests produce inaccurate results. Scratch tests sometimes cause minor discomfort, but they provide real-time results for your medical provider. When you undergo a scratch test, allergy symptoms appear almost immediately.
Watch What You Eat
Some foods can make allergy symptoms worse, even if you don't have any dietary allergies. There are several reasons for this, including:
- Increased mucus production
For example, you may experience symptoms if you ingest a meal that was prepared outside if you have seasonal allergies. If you eat veggies from a home garden without carefully washing them, you may consume small amounts of pollen or other allergens. A meal prepared in a pet-friendly home may make you sick if you have animal allergies. Dairy products may make allergy symptoms worse by increasing mucus production in your body.
If symptoms worsen after a meal, talk to your doctor. Your medical provider may want to rule out food intolerance and sensitivity issues prior to declaring non-dietary allergens as the culprit of your symptoms.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Think about the times when your allergy symptoms are horrible, then make minor lifestyle changes to address your triggers. If you often experience issues during your daily jog, switch the time of day you run or consider an indoor track. If you gasp for breath or break out in hives while visiting loved ones with pets, ask if they can meet you at your home or a restaurant instead.
Unfortunately, sometimes lifestyle changes don’t alleviate allergy symptoms. You may need to use prescription medications or over-the-counter remedies, such as eye drops or antihistamines. Visit a healthcare professional who specializes in allergy maintenance if you need help deciding which medications are best for you.
Rule Out Other Conditions
Sometimes other conditions mimic allergy-related symptoms, regardless of whether a doctor has diagnosed you with allergies in the past. Here are some examples of symptoms often associated with allergies that are also connected to other conditions:
- Shortness of breath
- Watery eyes
- Stuffy nose
- Itchy skin
- Scaly rash
Shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing are symptoms commonly associated with asthma and chronic bronchitis. You may also experience these symptoms with digestive conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, often referred to as GERD.
It may sound odd, but watery eyes are sometimes related to a lack of moisture in the eye area. People who frequently spend time in front of a computer often experience this issue.
A stuffy nose may stem from sinusitis or a deviated septum. Itchy skin or skin with scaly patches may be the result of a dermatological condition.
It's important to remember that sometimes these conditions coexist with allergies. Talk to your doctor if allergy symptoms linger so you can rule out other causes.
You Can Find Allergy Relief
Everyone’s individual body is different, so don't get discouraged if the remedies above don't work for you. It can take time and effort to discover the right remedy for you and your specific allergies.
Make sure to conduct a bit of research to find the right allergy treatment. Research trusted allergy treatments, solutions, and symptom-reducing options online and keep trying new approaches until you find one that works. You deserve to live a healthy life, so make sure you take time to effectively manage your allergy-related symptoms.
Like anything, it's always a good idea to be aware of the latest research. We recommend comparing at least 3 or 4 options before making a final decision. Doing a search online is typically the quickest, most thorough way to discover all the pros and cons you need to keep in mind.