For individuals who suffer from allergies, there are many different treatments to get some relief from those nagging symptoms of runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, skin discomfort (hives), sneezing, and coughing.
Reports indicate more than 50 million people seek treatment for allergies every year and the number continues to grow at an alarming rate.
Over the counter medications, like antihistamines, can be used to alleviate the symptoms of seasonal(hay fever) or year round (perennial allergic rhinitis) allergies.
Antihistamines work to reduce the histamine level in the body. When the histamine level is too high, allergies are at the worst.
Hay fever is common throughout the year depending on the season for pollens, molds and grasses. Unfortunately, allergic rhinitis plagues everyone all year long. Allergic rhinitis is the most common type of allergy and affects most of the population. Non-allergic rhinitis can be triggered by allergens but this condition is usually linked to viruses, bacteria, and structural abnormalities of the respiratory tract. Children exposed to dust mites, molds, cockroaches and animal dander have a higher rate of allergies than adults.
Allergy relief products have lined to the shelves to offer maximum benefit against allergens. HEPA filters for the house and vacuum cleaner can control the dust and allergens being expelled into the indoor air. Face masks have proven to be beneficial when cleaning, gardening and working outdoors. Nasal strips offer relief to clogged nasal passages. Humidifiers help keep moisture in the air.
To reduce environmental exposure to allergens, individuals can do different things throughout the year. In warm climates, air conditioning can help allergy sufferers. Avoid getting a family pet will help reduce animal allergens in and outside the home. Eliminate bedding and pillows containing feathers or fabric materials. Consider hard flooring instead of carpets for sleeping areas. Don’t open car windows during peak pollen hours. Get rid of the clothes line. Leaving clothes outside increase the risk of pollen contamination on the clothes.
For food allergies, eliminate foods causing an allergic reaction. Also, be aware of cross contaminations of foods and drugs.
Some individuals may seek a natural approach to allergy relief. Popular remedies include: eucalyptus, red clover, alfalfa, and apple cinder vinegar and licorice root. Eucalyptus can relieve congestion and inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Red clover has been used to help asthmatics and is considered an anti-spasmodic remedy. Alfalfa is used to treat the symptoms of hay fever. Apple cider vinegar can combat all allergic symptoms and is used to increase the good powers of the immune system. Licorice root is used to quiet down coughs. This remedy should not be used for people with heart conditions because it can increase blood pressure.
Immunotherapy shots or “allergy shots” are given to individuals to increase the tolerance of allergens. There is a disagreement as to whether the shots are effective but this practice seems to be the most common way to treat allergies. Allergy shots are excellent for people who are allergic to pollen, dust, animal and some environmental allergies but are not proven to be effective for food allergies. Some individuals have had success with allergy shots that eventually the allergy goes away and so does the need for the shots. The downside to immunotherapy is you must keep your scheduled shots in order for the therapy to work.