When you suffer from allergies, you know that a bad attack can not only ruin your day, it can also have dire effects (even death) if it goes untreated.
But sometimes the treatments are just as bad as the symptoms themselves!
For example, you may not be too keen to suffer through day after day of sneezing and congestion brought on by seasonal hay-fever, but antihistamines that make you drowsy (or alternately, wired) aren’t that great, either.
So what can you do to reduce your allergy symptoms without making the situation worse?
Here are a few possible solutions.
If you don’t know exactly what is causing your allergic reactions, they’re going to be rather difficult to treat. So your first task in reducing symptoms is to see an allergy specialist for a scratch test to determine which allergens you are battling. It may turn out that an antihistamine can’t be used to treat your particular allergies anyway, or that there are options for medication that won’t have side effects that are worse than your allergy symptoms. But if you don’t find out then you’re fated to continue suffering.
Use natural treatments
You don’t necessarily have to subscribe to OTC or prescription medications to soothe your allergy symptoms. For nearly every type of allergy out there you can find a homeopathic remedy to treat it. This could include applying lemon juice, vinegar, or tea tree oil to hives, rashes, and other skin irritations, or ingesting herbs like butterbur to act in the place of antihistamines. Of course, if you have extreme reactions like anaphylactic shock, you should definitely carry medical countermeasures like an Epi-pen.
These drugs build up in your system over time to treat ongoing allergy symptoms (like hay-fever, for example). Although they may cause some side effects, they are a good alternative for people who simply can’t stand antihistamines.
Ask about desensitization therapies
Did you know that some allergies can be permanently erased through a series of shots meant to desensitize your system and reduce immune system reaction? You will have to undergo treatments for a number of months (or even years) with gradually decreasing frequency, but you could come out allergy-free in the end.
This may sound like a “duh” kind of statement, but it’s easier said than done. Most of us can’t postpone leaving the house until pollen has settled down, and common allergens like dust and dander are all around your home and office. However, you can take steps to reduce the allergens in areas you frequent in a bid to alleviate symptoms. The best place to start is with frequent and thorough cleaning with eco-friendly solvents (chemical cleaners could be partially to blame, so remove these toxins from the home). From there you’ll want to install air purifiers throughout the space (IQ Air products are a good bet since they feature HEPA technology and they’re ozone- and ion-free). And finally, get an energy audit to find potential leaks in your home and have them sealed, lowering utility bills while keeping outside allergens where they belong.