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Taking Care of Your Allergies

Many people have allergies. Signs often include sneezing and sniffles. You also may have a runny or stuffy nose. Your eyes may be itchy or watery, and you may have a headache. Common causes include dust and animal dander. Allergies can also be caused by pollen from grass, trees, or flowers. You may have symptoms year-round, or you may only have them at certain times of the year. How can you find relief?

You can run but you can’t hide. Allergy triggers are everywhere. You may not be able to avoid them all, but these tips can help:

  • Stay inside when the pollen count is high.
  • Keep windows closed. Use air conditioning when you can, and change filters often.
  • Vacuum often or use rugs that can be washed on bare floors.
  • Pollen gets on your pet’s fur. Bathe pets often, or have someone else bathe them, and don’t allow pets in your bedroom.
  • Put plastic zippered covers on mattresses and pillows.
  • Help for your allergies
  • Some medicines can reduce the symptoms of allergies. Your doctor may give you a prescription, or you may pick one from the drug store shelf. Always talk with your doctor to find out what’s right for you.
  • Allergy medicines sometimes have side effects. They may make you sleepy or nervous. You may be told not to drive or use machinery. Always read the label. Pay close attention to warnings, and follow what your doctor says.

Home care tips when allergies hit

  • Drink plenty of fluids each day.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke and other things that make you feel worse.
  • Don’t blow your nose too hard. It can cause infection to spread.
  • When you lie down, keep your head raised on pillows. It will help sinuses drain.
  • Ask your doctor about taking medicine. If it’s okay, take it when you first start to feel sick. Don’t wait until you feel really bad.
  • Allergies can make you feel tired. Try to rest.

Talk with your doctor about other steps you can take. Some people may benefit from warm, humid air. It can help keep nasal passages moist. Others may do better with air that’s less humid. This includes those who are allergic to dust mites or mold. Find out what’s best for you.

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