What is an allergy?
An allergy is a heightened sensitivity to a foreign substance (called an allergen) that causes the body’s defense system (the immune system) to overact when defending itself.
There are 3 methods to treating your allergies.
Desensitization involves administering doses of allergens to accustom your body to the generally harmless allergens that are causing allergic reactions. Eventually, your immune system will become tolerant of the allergen and therefore your allergy symptoms will improve. This can be done through:
- Subcutaneous injections
- Sublingual Drops: Sublingual therapy is a liquid extract of an allergen(s),
administered as a drop held under the tongue. We offer this type of treatment in our office.
- Nasal steroid/antihistamine sprays.
- Saline irrigations:
– Neilmed sinus rinses can be purchased at any pharmacy.
– Pulsatile irrigations: You can purchase at www.achooallergy.com and click on “Sinus Relief”. Research shows pulsatile irrigation is most effective.
On average, people spend one-third of their lives in their bed. Reducing dust should begin in the bedroom.
- Purchase dust mite mattress and pillow covers. These covers prevent dust mites from aerosolizing through the pores of the sheets. The average pore size should be <5 Microns in order to prevent this from happening. If it does not mention the Micron size, it most likely does not meet the proper standards. You can purchase these at achooallergy.com.
- Wash your sheets once a week with HOT water.
- Purchase air purifier and dehumidifier.
- Vacuum atleast once a week. Exhaust-port HEPA filter vacuum cleaners decrease the circulation of dust.
- Purchase furniture made of vinyl, leather, or wood is suggested instead of fabric-upholstered furniture.
- Remove carpets if possible. Use hardwood, laminated, or vinyl flooring wherever you can.
- Replace cooling and heating filters on a regular basis.
- Look for leaks under sinks, showers, basements and pipes. Hire a mold inspector to further investigate if you suspect mold behind your walls. This inspection will cost on average $500.00.
Pollens (trees, weeds, grasses):
Pollens are tiny, microscopic egg-shaped male cells of flowering plants.
- Keep windows closed during your allergy season.
- Use an air purifier in the bedroom and other rooms of the house where you spend a significant amount of time.
- Keep animal off bedding and furniture.
- Wash hands after touching.
Currently, the only way to prevent a food allergic reaction is to avoid the problem food. A positive food allergy test may not correlate to nasal symptoms. You can experiment by stopping the food for 2 weeks and then restart to see if there are any symptoms associated.