According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, about 35 million people in the United States suffer from seasonal allergies. For some, seasonal allergies are merely annoying. But allergies can sometimes impact a person’s quality of life, as well, making it difficult for people to leave the house or participate in outdoor activities.
According to Dr. William Storms, an allergy specialist and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, seasonal allergies can led to secondary diseases, such as ear infections, sinus infections, and asthma. For some, allergies can cause life- threatening breathing problems.
Allergic reactions occur when the body is overly sensitive to things in the environment. Allergy problems are common in the spring because of all the newly-blossomed plants and weeds. In the fall, other plants and leaf mold contribute to seasonal allergies.
Mild allergic reactions often mimic the common cold. Symptoms may include sneezing, a runny nose, and red or itchy eyes. A cold usually runs its course in seven to ten days, however, while allergy problems can last for weeks or even months. Allergic reactions may also include itchy or inflamed skin, hives, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. In extreme cases, an allergic reaction can cause anaphylactic shock, a life-threatening condition in which a person’s airway swells shut and they can’t breathe.
1 Keep the culprits out of your home as much as you can. Keep your windows closed. Keep furniture dusted, and reduce clutter as much as possible, especially things like knickknacks and bric-a-brac, because they easily collect dust and pollens. Vacuum carpets regularly. If your allergies are severe, consider removing your carpets and installing wood, tile, or vinyl floors instead.
2 Weather conditions affect the amount of pollen and mold in the air. Allergy symptoms are often minimal on rainy, cloudy, or windless days, while hot, dry, and windy weather can increase symptoms. Stay indoors as much as possible during times your symptoms are likely to be worse. If you are outdoors on a day your allergies are bothering you a lot, change your clothes and take off your shoes as soon as possible when you come inside. Shower and wash your hair as soon as possible to remove pollen and other allergens.
3 If keeping your environment as allergen-free as possible doesn’t do the trick, it’s time to consider medication. There are a number over over-the-counter medications for seasonal allergies. If over-the-counter medications aren’t enough, there are also a number of prescription medications available.
4 If allergies continue to plague you after trying a number of medications, or if allergies are particularly severe, ask your doctor if you should have a skin test to determine exactly what you are allergic to. For this test, the doctor pricks the skin with a number of possible allergens. If you are allergic to a substance, a small raised red spot will appear. Once the doctor determines exactly what you are allergic to, you can receive allergy shots designed specifically for you. Each shot contains small amounts of the things you are allergic to. Over time, you become desensitized to these substances. After a few years, you may no longer need the shots.
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Read more: How to Cope With Seasonal Allergies | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5741814_cope-seasonal-allergies.html#ixzz1KBCO2UVv