If you know what triggers your allergy symptoms, either through observation, diary or with confirmation through skin tests or blood tests, the next thing is to take steps to minimize the exposure. As you know, there are things that can be done to reduce the need for allergy medications. The primary aim is to avoid the exposure to your allergy triggers to the extent possible.
Q: How do we avoid dust mites?
A: Dust mites are microscopic creatures found mainly in the mattress, pillows, and spaces that
collect dust. You can reduce your exposure significantly by encasing the pillows, mattress, and
box spring with dust mite barrier covers with zippers. Reducing the clutter, especially in the
bedroom, and removing stuffed toys can be very helpful.
Q: What can we do for pets?
A: The best solution is to find another home for your pet. If this is not possible, at least do not
allow pets in the bedroom, have someone wash the pets frequently, and consider air purifiers.
Also, washing hands and changing clothes after direct pet exposure can be helpful.
Q: Is there any way to reduce pollen exposure?
A: Keeping the bedroom windows closed and car windows rolled up during the high pollen
season can reduce exposure. Planning outdoor activities around the low pollen count and taking a
shower, washing hair, and changing clothes after outdoor exposure can help.
Q: What are the nondrug supportive methods?
A: Avoidance of allergen exposure is the beginning. Washing nose, sinuses, and eyes with saline
can remove allergens and restore normal functions. Some of the nutritional supplements and
herbs used under professional guidance can reduce the need for medications. Some nasal and
breathing exercises and facial massage and posturing are showing promising results in reducing
symptoms and draining secretions.
If you can not reduce or come off the allergy medications, you are likely a candidate for allergy vaccination (also known as “allergy shots” or allergen immunotherapy).
Now the allergen immunotherapy is availble as oral drops as well, for patients who can not commit to weekly injections in a medical setting. The oral or sublingual drops are considered safe and can be administered at home. Either form of allergen immunotherapy helps reduce and in many patients, eliminate the dependence on allergy medications.
About the Author:
Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is a board certified allergist and the bestselling author of the children’s book, Allergies, and Awesome You. He is also a medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com and the founder of the educational website www.AmazingAllergist.com. He has earned an honor of fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. He has personally treated more than 20,000 patients, made a significant impact on more than 100,000 lives as an allergist and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Physicians’ Award. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great life, allergy-free.