Every year, more than 50 million adults and kids suffer from allergies, one of the top causes of chronic illness in the United States. Some people have seasonal allergies, most often striking in the spring and fall. Other people have allergies all year long, due to dust, mold, and other triggers. And still more people have allergies to specific foods or chemical additives.
No matter what causes your allergies, you probably spend a fair amount of time suffering from symptoms like sneezing, coughing, or headaches, along with a stuffy or runny nose and watery, itchy eyes. You might even have a rash or itchy skin patches. The good news is, there are effective treatments for allergies — and there are also a lot of things you can do on your own to relieve your symptoms, too.
With locations in Salt Lake City, Murray, Tooele, Draper, and West Jordan, Utah, ENT Specialists helps patients learn the causes or triggers of their allergic reactions, offering both medical treatment and lifestyle guidance to help each patient find relief. Here are seven things you can do to prevent or lessen your allergy symptoms.
#1: Change your filters
Furnaces, air conditioners, and even most vacuums have special filters designed to block dust particles and keep them from circulating in your air. Make sure to change (or wash) your filters at least as often as the manufacturer recommends to help keep your air clean.
#2: Use a mask
Raking, weeding, and other yard work makes your place look great, but you’ll have a hard time appreciating the fruits of your labor if your eyes are red and watery or if you’re doubled over sneezing and coughing. To reduce symptoms, wear a mask while mowing, raking, or anytime you’re working with plants. Also, avoid lawn chemicals, which can also cause symptoms to flare.
#3: Get your clean on
Dust particles — and specifically, dust mites — are among the leading causes of indoor allergies. Dusting, vacuuming, and mopping regularly are the best ways to keep dust from accumulating in your home, and that means there’s less for dust mites to feed on. Wear a mask to avoid breathing in dust particles that get stirred up, and avoid chemical cleaning products that can trigger reactions.
#4: Keep your windows closed
Sure, it’s great to get some fresh air — but not if that air is laden with pollen or spores. Keep an eye on the local pollen count (you can check it here or here), and close your windows when the number is up.
#5: Groom your pets
Brushing your furry friend on a regular basis helps get rid of excess hair and dander, another common cause of allergic reactions. Wash your hands after grooming, petting, or playing with your pet.
#6: Remake your bed
Getting a good night’s sleep is important for health — but did you know you could be sharing your bed with millions of dust mites? Dust mites love to eat dead skin, so hanging out in your bed gives them full access to all the skin cells you shed each day. Encasing your mattress and pillows in special “dust mite-proof” covers can help decrease dust mite populations, along with the allergies they cause. Washing your bedding in hot water every week or two helps, too.
#7: Look for mold
Mold spores are another common allergy trigger, and they’re typically found in damp areas of your home, like your basement, unventilated bathrooms, crawl spaces, under your sink, or inside closets. Use a flashlight to look for signs of mold, and pay attention to any mildew odor in these areas, too.
Get treatment for your allergies
Allergies can interfere with your life on a daily basis, but with the right treatment, it doesn’t have to be that way. At ENT Specialists, our team uses advanced allergy testing to identify the causes of allergic reactions, along with targeted treatment programs customized for your specific needs. To learn what’s causing your allergy symptoms — and how to put an end to them — call the office or use our online form and schedule an appointment today.