Managing allergies in most cases is not that difficult. Just imagine how many people all over the world do that! According to statistics, about 7.8% of adults in the U.S. have hay fever. Worldwide, allergic rhinitis affects between 10% and 30% of the population. About 8% of children have a food allergy. Other statistics is here. So, how to deal with it?
Beginners guide to allergies
An allergy is a reaction to a particular food or substance. It usually occurs within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen.
Most common allergies are caused by:
- grass and tree pollen (they cause hay fever, or allergic rhinitis);
- dust mites and animal dander;
- certain foods (in particular, nuts, fruit, eggs, cow’s milk and shellfish);
- insect bites;
- certain medications;
- household chemicals.
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction:
- blocked or running nose;
- itchy and red eyes;
- itchy rash;
- worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms;
- anaphylactic shock that needs urgent treatment.
The most effective way to manage an allergy in most cases is to avoid the allergen. In addition, there are ways to treat an allergy and its symptoms.
Allergy treatments include:
- lotions and creams to reduce skin itchiness and redness;
- decongestants as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose;
- steroid medications to reduce redness and swelling;
In some cases home treatment is enough to manage allergies. For example, you can use saline drops or a humidifier to clear a stuffy nose if you have hay fever or other seasonal allergies.
Other natural ways to protect yourself from allergic reactions:
- Wear a mask. An average respirator mask available at most drugstores will block 95% of small particles causing allergies.
- Keep indoors free of your allergy triggers. Install air filters and /or air conditioning systems, and close the doors and windows to keep pollen and other outdoor allergens out.
- Wash allergens away. Take a shower, change your clothes, and leave your shoes at the door.
- Clean your home safely. Use ordinary household products like vinegar or baking soda instead of chemicals. Also, choose a good vacuum cleaner with proper filters.
- Avoid cigarette smoke. If you are smoking yourself, try to quit.
- Drink more water. Juice, tea, broth, or soup are good, too.
- Eat as healthy as you can. According to a study, children who eat many fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts have fewer allergy symptoms.
- Know your triggers. Because avoiding them is the easiest way of managing allergies. Take an allergy test!