Posted April 19, 2017
Allergies can be miserable. The constant sneezing, coughing and sniffling, not to mention itchy and watery eyes, makes most allergy sufferers irritable and tired. And they unknowingly may do things that can make their allergies even worse. Review five common mistakes to avoid as provided by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
1. Not knowing the cause – Some people are allergic to pollens released during the spring and fall seasons, but others suffer year-round. Experts advise people to know the substances, plants, and animals that cause problems and avoid them. Common allergens are pet dander, cigarette smoke, cockroaches, dust mites, household dust, and fragrances in perfumes, candles, air fresheners and hair spray.
2. Not getting professional help – Many people find relief with over-the-counter medications, nasal sprays, and sinus rinses. However, if you can’t find relief, prescription drugs or sprays may be needed to calm irritated sinuses. If your allergies are bad, you may need allergy testing and allergy shots. Contact your doctor’s office or allergist for assistance.
3. Waiting too long – When the sniffling and sneezing starts, don’t ignore the symptoms. Immediately start using medications or sprays that have worked in the past. Schedule a doctor’s appointment to renew any prescription allergy medications you may have. For people with pollen allergies, doctors encourage them to start their meds before the seasons change and pollens are released into the air.
4. Eating raw produce or nuts – Researchers discovered that people with pollen allergies also can have oral allergy syndrome. It occurs when the immune system detects similarities between pollen and the proteins in raw fruits and vegetables. For example, people with tree pollen allergies may react to nuts and fruits that grow on trees. However, don’t avoid eating all produce. You need the nutrients. Just try cooking it first.
5. Bringing allergens inside – As the seasons change, experts recommend taking steps to control exposure to pollens:
- Limit the amount of time windows and doors are open.
- After being outdoors, shower and change clothes to remove pollen irritants from your skin.
- Try to stay inside during the mid-day hours when pollen counts are highest.