Many people cope with itchy eyes, a drippy nose, headaches or fatigue because of seasonal or environmental allergies. Some even face life-threatening food allergies or allergies to bee stings or materials, such as latex, that can cause a whole-body reaction.
Our allergy doctors provide allergy testing and strategies to help with these conditions and allergic reactions. Over-the-counter drugs and prescriptions can make a big difference. Allergy shots may also assist with managing allergies.
Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a common allergy that occurs when your immune system overreacts to particles in the air. Your immune system attacks the particles, causing symptoms such as sneezing and a runny nose. Allergic rhinitis can lead to problems such as sinus infections, plugged ears or ear infections and sinusitis.
Meanwhile, asthma causes wheezing, trouble breathing, tightness in the chest and coughing. Allergic asthma occurs when allergens such as pollens, dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches and mold make symptoms worse. This can increase your risk of lung and airway infections, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
No cures exist for allergic rhinitis or allergic asthma. But allergy shots can provide long-term relief of symptoms, and can also prevent children with allergic rhinitis from getting asthma.
Here are some ways to find relief from allergies:
- Postpone outdoor activities until later in the morning, as pollen counts are usually highest between 5 and 10 a.m.
- Take off your shoes immediately when coming indoors so you don’t track in pollen.
- Keep your windows closed and use air conditioning, even on pleasant spring nights.
- Stay indoors when the pollen count or humidity is reported to be high and on windy days when dust and pollen are blowing about.
- When driving, keep the windows up and turn on the air conditioning.
- Don't hang your laundry out to dry. Allergens will collect on them.
- Wear a filter mask when mowing the lawn or raking leaves.
- Wash your bedding weekly in hot water.
- Shower and wash your hair every night before going to bed.
- If you have a pet that goes outside, wipe off their fur before they come back in.
If your allergies persist, your doctor may recommend you see an allergist to determine the allergens that are causing your reactions. With that information in hand, most effective treatment can be determined.
Allergy testing involves having a skin or blood test to find out what allergen is triggering an allergic response.
- Itchy eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Sinus issues
- Allergy shots
- Over-the-counter or prescription medicine
We understand that allergies can have a major impact your daily health and quality of life, which is why we’re dedicated to finding the best treatment for your allergic conditions. We take every measure possible to help you be well in mind, body and spirit. Reach out today to find a Mercy Health allergist ready to treat you with expert, compassionate care, in a convenient location close to home.
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