Premier Allergy and Asthma offers tips on allergy relief

Photo Credit: Peshkova

Many people have serious concerns about allergies. Environmental allergies such as cat dander, dog hair, and pollen are bothersome, and food allergies such as those to peanuts and tree nuts can be fatal. Dr. Summit Shah of Premier Allergy and Asthma in Ohio offers several strategies for parents and individuals who want to deal with their allergies and live healthier, happier lives.

Ensure You Are Fully Tested

Before you begin treatment for an allergy, you should always make sure that you have been tested by a qualified allergist. You may believe that you have an allergy to cats or dogs, for example, but you may actually be allergic to the pollen and mold that these animals bring into the house from outdoors. An allergy test will also let you know what else you might be allergic to which is causing your symptoms.

This is especially vital for people with suspected food allergies. There are many cross-reactions, including oral allergy syndrome where a patient believes they are allergic to a food when in fact they are having a cross-reaction because of the similar structure of the protein. Even oral allergy syndrome can lead to deadly anaphylaxis if it is not properly treated.

Keep Prescriptions Updated

If you have a prescription for an inhaler or an epinephrine injector, make sure that you keep it up-to-date. Many people avoid getting refills on epinephrine injectors in particular because the cost of refills is so high. There are budget alternatives available, and no one with allergies should go without fresh medication based on the cost.

Keep Your Home Clean

It may go without saying that your home needs to be kept clean if you have indoor allergies. Vacuum and dust regularly, using a HEPA-filtered vacuum. Vacuum cleaners which collect the dirt in a clear plastic cup are often not sufficient for people with allergies. Clean up all pet hair from the home as often as possible. Wash bedding frequently in hot water and be sure to use anti-allergy covers for your mattress and pillows, since dust mite allergies can cause problems at bedtime.

You may want to consider tearing up your carpets and going with a much cleaner hardwood floor. Carpets trap a great many allergens, including cat and dog dander. Children with asthma and allergies should also have the carpet in their rooms replaced with hardwood. Stuffed animals need to be kept clean or removed from the bedroom.

In addition to keeping your environment clean, you should always shower and change your clothes if you have been exposed to pollen outside.

Use a HEPA Air Purifier

In addition to a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner, people with allergies should consider getting a HEPA air purifier for their homes. Attached to the heating and air conditioning system or as a stand-alone unit, an air purifier can help to remove microparticles from the air, leading to better breathing.

See an Allergist for Prescriptions and Care

Many over-the-counter remedies are appropriate for allergies, but it is likely that you will get better results if you visit a qualified allergist. Your allergist should be able to help you deal with your symptoms so that you can live a happier and more fulfilled life. Dr. Summit Shah believes that all people with allergies should be able to enjoy themselves without constantly worrying about their condition.

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