By Missouri Ear, Nose and Throat Center
September 15, 2017
It’s never too early to seek help for your allergies. Allergies can affect your way of life, at all times of the year. During springtime, you may feel the effects of hay fever. In winter, when you are indoors for long periods, you may suffer from mold allergies. If you have pets, you already know how pet dander can cause you problems. You can recognize an allergy if you have itchy watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing.
You can try home remedies first, and they may help alleviate symptoms. Common home remedies for allergies include:
- Taking over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants
- Irrigating your nasal passages with saline and water
- Trying linens and pillowcases that are allergy-proof
- Placing allergy or HEPA filters in your house, especially your bedroom
If you try home remedies and are still suffering from allergy symptoms, it’s time to seek help from your allergist. Your allergist will recommend allergy testing if you have:
- Nasal congestion, a runny nose and watery eyes
- Coughing, wheezing or chest congestion
- A rash, itchy skin or eczema
- An itchy throat, nose or eyes
He or she will recommend various types of testing, depending on what you are sensitive or allergic to. The most effective allergy tests include:
- Skin tests- during which tiny amounts of different allergens are injected just under your skin; you will know you are allergic to the substance if you see swelling or a rash within 20 minutes.
- Challenge tests- used to diagnose medication and food allergies, during which you inhale or ingest a tiny amount of allergen to test for a reaction
- Blood tests- a sample of your blood is sent to a laboratory where testing is completed
Once your allergist has determined what you are allergic to, treatment to relieve your allergy symptoms can begin. Typical allergy treatments involve allergy shots given weekly to target specific allergens. Sublingual drop therapy is also common and convenient because you can self-administer the drops in the privacy of your home for a specified period of time.
Remember it’s never too early to seek help from an allergist. Your allergist can help you get relief from allergies at any time of the year. Don’t wait! Call today and feel better tomorrow!