10 life-changing tips to deal with allergies

2018-06-20 06:01
PHOTO: sourced

PHOTO: sourced

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

WHEN your body is extra sensitive to a substance it will respond in the form of an allergic reaction. Whether it’s a food allergy or pollen in the environment that causes hay fever, allergies are enough to drive anyone insane.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU DEAL WITH ALLERGIES THIS SEASON

• Is it actually an allergy?

First, establish whether your lingering sinusitis symptoms are a result of a cold or are allergy related. It is easy to misdiagnose yourself, covering up the symptoms with over-the-counter solutions instead of getting to the root of the problem.

One of the best ways to tell if your sinusitis is caused by either a viral infection or an allergy is the duration of your symptoms. Cold or flu symptoms caused by a viral infection will clear up in anywhere between a few days up to a week or two, but the symptoms of seasonal allergies can last for months.

If you experience sinusitis symptoms such as headaches and congestion, a doctor should be able to differentiate between acute sinusitis, which lasts for less than three weeks and is often infectious, and chronic sinusitis, which can last for months and is mostly likely caused by allergies.

An allergy will also most likely be accompanied by an itchy throat, eyes or ears, whereas this isn’t always present in a cold.

• Start taking your allergy medication before your symptoms kick in

Dr Adrian Morris, Health24’s resident allergy expert, suggests taking antihistamines before the beginning of pollen season so that you can start building tolerance before the dreaded symptoms start.

According to Dr Andrew Murphy, allergy specialist at Chief County Hospital, Pennsylvania, you should take your medication at least 30 minutes before heading outdoors.

You should also check in with your medical professional if you feel that your medication no longer controls your symptoms so that this can be adjusted according to your needs.

• Clean, clean and clean some more

The less dust and pollen in your house, the better. Vacuum often, consider replacing carpeted floors with hardwood or tiles and make sure that those often-overlooked nooks and crannies, such as skirting boards, are regularly wiped off. Be careful of mould, especially in damp, rainy environments.

• Do not underestimate the use of a neti pot, steam or sinus rinse

Steam, humidity and heat break down mucus and relieve congestion, and many doctors will recommend steaming or a sinus rinse to relieve your symptoms.

Want to give a neti pot a go? It’s even better than steam on its own, say the medical experts.

“Nasal irrigation is foundational in sinus care,” said Dr Len Horovitz, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

“Saline solution can be easily mixed and utilised with a neti pot or other irrigation devices.

“Simple saline mists only moisturise, while steam can cause swelling of membranes. Heat provokes swelling, so that can be harmful,” added Horovitz.

• Consult your doctor for any form of persistent cough or chest problem

Even if you think your cough is caused by nasal drip, you should consult your doctor to rule out any infections, or an underlying medical condition, especially if you are physically active and exercise frequently.

Any tightness in the chest can also point to asthma, which can be treated with an inhaler.

Dr Keertan Dheda, Health24’s resident cough expert, said that it’s especially important that a cough that lasts longer than four weeks be checked out as there are specific illnesses that need to be excluded.

• Learn how to read food labels carefully

Do you suffer from a food allergy? Learn how to spot hidden allergens in processed products. Usually it is required that the top eight food allergens are listed on packaging (milk, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish), but, where regulations aren’t as strict, these ingredients may be missed.

• Scrub the day off

Take off your shoes, have a shower and change your clothes as soon as you step inside the house. This will minimise the amount of pollen you bring indoors.

• Invest in a dehumidifier

You have probably been told that a humidifier will improve your breathing, but a dehumidifier could actually work better if your allergies are triggered by dust or mould, especially in a humid area.

• Know your indoor triggers

Don’t just assume that it’s pollen and dust from the outside that’s messing with your allergies. Factors like dust mites, pet dander and mould can make allergies worse.

Know what your triggers are and try to minimise these allergens inside your home by cleaning regularly.

• If all else fails, consult an allergist

If you’ve tried countless over-the-counter remedies and tips but nothing seems to be working, it might be time to call in the big guns.

Allergy specialists can do testing to determine the exact triggers of your allergies. Dr Morris runs his own allergy clinics from Cape Town and Johannesburg where these tests are done.

— Health24

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
 

How your dog can tell what you’re feeling

Researchers have found a specific area in a dog’s brain that recognises human faces – a finding that may help to explain why dogs are so sensitive to human social cues.

 

Paws

Share your 67 minutes with animals in need this Mandela Day
Kevin Anderson’s dog is winning at Instagram!
Kim Kardashian-West buys fake testicles to boost her dog’s self-esteem
10 tips on exercising your dog
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.