Try these remedies to help your allergies

Try these remedies to help your allergies

Allergies may not always be serious, but they certainly can be annoying…and common.

Each year, about 17 million people are diagnosed with hay fever – often an allergic reaction to pollen, pet dander or dust mites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If a person’s body is sensitive to a particle, that particle causes his or her body to produce antibodies, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. They act as the immune system’s army of soldiers, marching around a person’s body looking to destroy harmful invaders.

One of their defense tactics is to release chemicals that can create an allergic reaction. For those with hay fever, this reaction is similar to a cold, causing sneezing, runny eyes and sinus pressure.

Studies and research continue, but it’s still unclear why some people struggle with allergies and others don’t.

Researchers said one theory is that repeated environmental exposure can make a person more sensitive when exposed to a certain particle in that environment. A second theory is that babies who were exposed to bacteria during the natural birthing process are less likely to have allergies compared to C-section babies who didn’t have that exposure. Other theories point to genetics.

Dr. Tony Hampton, a family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group, shares some tips and common prescriptions:

  • Educate yourself about which allergens are giving you symptoms. Do this by paying attention to what time of year your symptoms occur.

Consider over-the-counter remedies for immediate relief or talk to your doctor about a prescription, including:

  • Antihistamines reduce or block histamine, the chemical in our cells that triggers the allergic response. They can be taken orally or as eye drops.
  • Decongestants can help as well. These medications shrink swollen blood vessels and tissues which relieves congestion, but they can’t help with sneezing or itching.
  • Nasal sprays decrease secretions from the glands lining the nasal passage. This diminishes the symptom of runny nose.
  • Leukotriene inhibitors relieve allergy symptoms by reducing congestion in your nose and also reducing the sneezing, itching, and eye allergies.

Allergists can also perform allergy testing. Once an allergen is known, reduce or eliminate exposure to that allergen. If a person has not had success and is having difficulties treating an allergy, talk to a doctor about seeing and allergist, getting allergy shots or immunotherapy.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.