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Sneeze Patrol: How to Stifle Seasonal Allergies

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Reduce Indoor Allergies

First, visit the allergist to find out which allergens give you grief. Then, target your efforts.

For Mold: Try to keep the humidity down to at least 40 percent or lower; anything higher can promote mold growth. Central air conditioning and heating units and/or a handheld device can measure levels. "A dehumidifier can dry out damp basements, and a fan can help by circulating air in the bathroom," says Dr. Georgeson.

For Dust Mites: Avoid using feather pillows and down comforters, and put airtight encasements on your box spring, mattress, and pillows, suggests Dr. Georgeson. "If you have children, buy hypoallergenic stuffed animals, or put their favorites in the freezer for 24 hours, which will kill the mites." It's also better to have hardwood floors rather than carpet, which is an allergen magnet and difficult to clean. If you do have carpeting, Dr. Dobozin recommends cleaning it every six months to a year with acaracide, a chemical that kills dust mites. (It's a moist powder that you apply and then vacuum off; carpet-cleaning companies also offer this service.)

For Pets: Make your bedroom off-limits to them -- or at least keep them off your bed. It's the room you probably spend the most time in, so keep it as allergen-free as possible.

For All Allergens: use a freestanding air purifier with a HEPA air filter in living rooms and bedrooms. Research has shown that these are particularly good at reducing pet-allergen levels and improving breathing symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. In addition, keep windows and doors closed to prevent outdoor allergens such as pollen from floating in. If you have central heating and/or air conditioning, consider installing a central filtration system that removes dust and allergens. Again, look for models that use HEPA filters. Experts also recommend using vacuums that contain HEPA filters.

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ljbarton6220 wrote:

Seems like everything I eat triggers my sinus's to start a waterfall of gunk down the back of my throat resluting in constant clearing of my throat or coughing to be able to breathe. One thing that has helped quite a bit is switching to gluten free bread (so I can have a sandwich again) and gluten free waffles. I still eat things that cause me discomfort but I carry around my allegra pills (buy them in quantitiy at Costco) which are the only ones I have found to releave sysmptoms.

4/14/2012 10:41:43 AM Report Abuse
homewme wrote:

I was getting an allergy shot every spring and fall as well as taking the allegra, nasonex, etc. and other meds as prescribed but still had issues. Started taking a tsp of elderberry extract each morning in my juice and taking an olive leaf extract capsule each morning and at bedtime. During allergy season I may increase the capsule to 2 (I use the 150mg) as needed. But haven't had an allergy shot for 7 years now.

4/13/2011 10:17:31 AM Report Abuse
mowprincess wrote:

I hate the advertisements that pop up when I am trying to read... you try to close them out.. and you get sent back to the original e-mail.. no fun

4/11/2011 06:30:35 PM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

I've been on allergy shots for almost five years now, and the difference is amazing. I'm not symptom free, but I no longer want to crawl under the bed until my head explodes.

4/11/2011 02:30:58 PM Report Abuse
nccallanan wrote:

It was informative and I would like to see more on environmental allergies. I have suffered for allergies all my life and now am having difficulties finding safe products to deal with a new set of allergic reactions to chemicals.

4/11/2011 02:21:41 PM Report Abuse

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