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How to Keep Allergy Flare-ups at Bay

Allergies

Whether you suffer from seasonal or food allergies, or are under constant attack from dust and pet dander, it can sometimes seem like there’s absolutely no solution for the itching, sneezing, and headaches that inevitably occur.  You’re tired of wearing a mask through the crisp days of spring and lately it seems like dry summer weather is even worse.  Is staying indoors for an entire season even an option?  And anyone who has dust allergies would surely prefer an alternative to plastic bed-sheets.  But there is good news for allergy-sufferers everywhere.  In fact, there are several ways to treat and alleviate your allergies, and in some cases, you can even take steps to rid yourself of this supreme annoyance and inconvenience for good.

To begin with, you need to know what you’re up against.  Just because you get all wheezy and sneezy in the spring does not mean you have a good handle on your seasonal allergies.  You need to see a doctor to find out what, exactly, is at the root (or stamen) of your symptoms.  Once you know the cause of your discomfort, it will be much easier to treat.  If you’re lucky (and your symptoms are mild) you may be able to get away with an over-the-counter remedy like Benadryl or Sudafed, which is decidedly less expensive than prescription medication and may have fewer side effects.  If, on the other hand, your allergies are severe and widespread, you could be looking at long-term prescription use in order to function on a daily basis.  However, there may be another option.  In some cases, a series of shots can be administered in an effort to boost your immunity to certain allergens.  While this treatment could take months or even years, you may come out of the experience completely allergy-free, making it worth the time and discomfort (weekly injections equals a lot of needle pokes – ouch).

If you are anti-medication or worry about side effects, there are alternatives.  You can try changing your diet, for one thing.  Studies have shown that diets high in certain foods can boost your immunity and increase your ability to fight infection, thereby giving your body a better chance to attack allergens.  And a diet high in foods that contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can theoretically work just as well as medication, so a diet that relies mainly on fruits (citrus, berries), vegetables (dark greens, tomatoes), nuts, and fish has the potential to significantly reduce allergy symptoms caused by irritation and inflammation of the respiratory passages (or even the skin).  And while a regimen consisting of medication may be necessary, a healthy diet could certainly cut down on usage.  As a last resort, you could also consider a change of scenery, especially if your allergens are plants.

Although you may have a good idea of the cause of your allergy symptoms, or think you can handle them on your own (or just live with them), you would be wise to consult with your doctor before embarking on a course of treatment or subjecting yourself to unnecessary and ongoing misery.  There are certainly remedies that you can self-administer, and many do not require physician consent to implement, but knowing more about your allergies, their causes and treatments, is a good enough reason for most to at least consult with a professional.  After all, you deserve the best life possible, one that is free of allergies and their inevitable impact on your health.

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