How Allergy Symptoms Start
The conception that antibodies, which should protect against disease, are also responsible for disease, sounds at first absurd.
Clemens von Pirquet
Scientists have learned a lot about allergies since Clemens von Pirquet first coined the term.
Defined as an abnormal adaptive immune response, allergic disorders occur when the body responds to a usually harmless substance with an increase in IgE attached to mast cells in the body and Type 1 T helper cells . Reactions such as constriction of the bronchial tubes, mucus secretion, and increased vascular permeability may occur within minutes.
If the exposure exceeds the bodys first immune response, this reaction begins to trigger further activation of leukocytes and Type 2 T helper cells . This is a stronger immune response the body mounts to things like parasites and physical invaders. This manifests in different ways depending on the persons genetics and where the body perceives the invasion. Symptoms may include:
- even anaphylaxis
Dog Allergy Management And Treatment
Avoidance is the best way to manage a dog allergy. If you have a dog and are allergic to dogs, consider removing the dog from the home.
If you have a dog but dont want to find it a new home, or if your family wants a dog even though someone in the household is allergic, here are some strategies that may help keep symptoms at bay:
- Keep the dog out of your bedroom and restrict it to only a few rooms. Be advised that keeping the dog in only one room will not limit the allergens to that room.
- Dont pet, hug or kiss the dog if you do, wash your hands with soap and water.
- High-efficiency particulate air cleaners run continuously in a bedroom or living room can reduce allergen levels over time.
- Regular use of a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner or a central vacuum can reduce allergen levels.
- Giving your dog a bath at least once a week can reduce airborne dog allergen.
Treatments for dog allergy vary, depending on the symptoms.
Your allergist can help determine what treatment would be best to treat your dog allergy. Nasal symptoms are often treated with steroid nasal sprays, oral antihistamines or other oral medications. Eye symptoms are often treated with antihistamine eyedrops. Respiratory or asthma symptoms can be treated with inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators to either prevent or relieve respiratory symptoms.
Allergy shots are an effective treatment of allergies by building tolerance over time through gradually injecting increasing doses of an allergen.
Natural Allergy Relief Options
What helps relieve allergies fast? Watching what you eat, getting plenty of fresh air and drinking enough water are some of the natural remedies that can relieve allergies by improving functions of the immune system.
It may take several weeks for your symptoms to subside, but they are likely to be better kept under control when you tackle the root causes. Here are nine ways to get natural allergy relief.
1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory, Alkaline Diet
First and foremost, start eating an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce your risk for allergies and many other health problems. Caring for your body with nutrient-dense foods gives your immune system the ability to repair itself, bringing it back into balance so it can fight off common allergies in your environment.
Here are some of the best foods and ingredients to incorporate into your diet to help you beat allergies:
Although its not abundant in many foods, vitamin D is also important for immune function and may help manage allergy symptoms. In fact, certain studies have shown that children who live farther from the equator are more likely to develop allergies and suffer higher rates of hospital admissions due to allergic reactions.
You can get enough vitamin D by spending about 15 minutes in the sun most days without sunscreen and by eating foods like whole milk and some mushrooms for natural allergy relief.
2. Local Raw Honey
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
5. Neti Pot
6. Stinging Nettle
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How Are Allergies Treated
Avoiding allergens is an important treatment approach. However, it often doesnt completely end allergic reactions. Over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications are also a solution to managing your allergies. These may include:
A healthcare provider may recommend immunotherapy and/or sublingual immunotherapy if you cant manage your allergy symptoms through over-the-counter and prescription medications and avoiding allergens. The provider will expose you to small amounts of allergens and gradually increase the dosage over several months. Gradual exposure creates a tolerance to the allergen.
Nasal saline irrigation
A neti pot is an over-the-counter device that pushes a saline solution through your nasal passages. It helps clear out mucus and allergens trapped inside your nasal passages.
What Are Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies are a common type of allergy and are brought on by seasonal weather changes that cause trees, grass and weeds to produce pollen. Seasonal allergens can cause nasal, eye and skin allergies. Nasal allergies alone affect somewhere between 40 million and 60 million Americans.
Most people think of allergies as occurring only in the springtime, but some plants release allergy-causing pollen in the summer and fall as well. Below is a list of the common types of outdoor allergens and when they most often occur:
Many people also suffer from allergies year-round, also known as chronic, or perennial, allergies. In fact, more than two-thirds of spring allergy sufferers have year-round symptoms.1
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Fast Facts On Treating An Allergic Reaction:
- Most minor allergy symptoms can be treated with antihistamines, corticosteroids, or decongestants.
- Saline nasal rinses can be used for congestion-related allergy symptoms.
- Corticosteroid creams can treat skin rashes related to allergies.
- Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment option for chronic allergy symptoms.
- Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency, and people should call 911 if they suspect someone is having an anaphylactic reaction.
An allergic reaction occurs when cells in the immune system interpret a foreign substance or allergen as harmful.
The immune system overreacts to these allergens and produces histamine, which is a chemical that causes allergy symptoms, such as inflammation, sneezing, and coughing.
Mild allergic reactions can usually be treated with home remedies and over-the-counter medications.
However, chronic allergies need treatment from a medical professional. Severe allergic reactions always require emergency medical care.
Many mild to moderate allergic reactions can be treated at home or with OTC medications. The following treatments are commonly used to reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction:
Is There A Good Running With Allergies Mask
Instead of a mask, I recommend grabbing a Buff. I like this brand because you can find light ones for summer or heavier ones for cool spring mornings, super easy to wash and use again!
Then you can pull it up or down as needed, but yes if you have severe allergies to pollen, ragweed or trees then this can provide another filter before things enter your nose and lungs where it will cause irritation.
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What Time Of Day Is The Pollen Count The Highest
Pollen counts are lowest before dawn, rise to their peak by mid-day and slowly fall in the evenings. On high pollen count days, there may still be higher-than-normal amounts pollen in the air in the evening. Weather also has a big impact on pollen counts. Dry, windy conditions increase the amount of pollen in the air, and rain lowers it.
How Do I Test For Allergies
There are different types of allergy tests. The most common allergy tests are skin prick tests and blood tests.
Skin prick tests can identify the allergens that cause your allergy symptoms. An allergist will use a thin needle to prick your skin with a tiny amount of different possible allergens. They then check to see if your skin reacts to the allergen.
Blood tests can also identify allergies. However, theyre not as sensitive as skin prick tests. Blood tests evaluate IgE antibodies that your immune system produces against a specific protein.
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Keep Your Home Safe From Allergens
There are many steps you can take around your house to help with seasonal allergies.
Use humidifiers and dehumidifiers at the right times for your allergies
In the spring, summer and early fall, remove excess moisture from the air using a dehumidifier or air conditioner. This can help reduce the growth of mold and mildew spores known to cause some allergies.
In dry winter months, a humidifier can add moisture to a room to soothe dry, irritated nasal passages. Make sure to clean and change the filter regularly. Unfortunately, moisturized air can also cause dust mites to increase.
Change to HEPA filters for your heating and cooling system
A HEPA filter can trap airborne allergens like pollen and pet dander, helping keep more irritants out of the air. Just make sure youre regularly replacing filters particularly during high usage times. A good rule of thumb is to check your filter once a month to see if it needs replacing.
Consider adding an air purifier, too
Air purifiers can also be used to clean finer particles and fumes that your furnace or air conditioning filter cant catch. There are several different types of air purifiers and each works differently to clean the air you breathe. So, research your options to determine which may be the best fit for you needs.
Other ways to reduce allergens in your home:
How To Deal With Allergies: General Rules To Follow
1. Recognize Allergy Symptoms
Most people discover that they have an allergy when they have some types of allergic reaction which has not been experienced in the past, so it is important to recognize the symptoms. Mild allergic symptoms include:
- Itchy skin, may transform into hives–swollen areas on skin ranging from small to large welts
2. Look Out for Serious Symptoms
Remember to monitor your symptoms for a couple hours after they begin. Most of the time allergic reactions do not require medical attention and can be managed with OTC medication and home treatments. However, the symptoms can escalate into a serious condition and you should be able to recognize serious symptoms in case they do occur.
Serious symptoms include swelling of tongue or lips, wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, persistent coughing, upset stomach, vomiting, unconsciousness and chest pains.
3. Over-the-Counter Antihistamines Can Help
When your reaction is mild, you can often take an over-the-counter antihistamine and find relief for your symptoms. There are several types to choose from, common antihistamines include Claritin, Benadryl, Allegra and Zyrtec. Before you start taking any of these medications, speak to your doctor about possible side effects, sensitivities and if they might interact with any other medications you are taking.
4. OTC Hydrocortisone Cream Helps with Hives and Itching
5. See an Allergist
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Know What To Do When Allergies Strike
Allergens can sneak into your life on your daily walk, a plate of food, or anywhere in between. You might be born with them or develop them years down the line. Knowing what to do when you or someone you know is having an allergy attack could be the difference between life and death.
When experiencing serious allergy symptoms, heading to your local Urgency Room could bring you relief faster than you thought possible. Our skilled and experienced emergency physicians and nurses are well trained to care for serious allergic reactions. At the UR, we treat the allergy symptoms. Treating and allergic reaction does not require any testing and we do not do allergy testing. Were dedicated to helping you return to your healthy self as soon as possible.
You dont have to suffer through your allergies alone. Get the care you need now and the tools you need to avoid future allergy attacks. The Urgency Room operates three convenient Minnesota locations in Eagan, Vadnais Heights, and Woodbury. Were open 365 days per year from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., including holidays. When minutes matter, especially during an allergy attack, get to The Urgency Room.
Do You Have Seasonal Allergies Or Covid
Having seasonal allergies is annoying at any time, but it creates some challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. “With COVID out there, differentiating between the two has been difficult,” Corbett said, because there can be some overlap in the symptoms of allergies and a coronavirus infection.
Some of the symptoms can be similar because, with a viral infection, you’re going to have congestion and runny nose,” Azar explained. But there are some ways to differentiate the two conditions, he said.
For instance, despite the nickname “hay fever,” allergies don’t typically cause a fever, Corbett said. So, if you’re feeling congested and your temperature is up, that’s a sign you might have something other than allergies.
Also, if you have systemic symptoms, like body aches or a general feeling of being unwell, that’s another reason to think beyond allergies, Azar said. “Plus, with COVID, there’s some significant problems with people having reduced sense of smell and taste.”
If you have some ambiguous symptoms and you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, it’s definitely worth taking a COVID-19 test just in case.
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Natural Remedies For Allergic Reactions
Many traditional medicine systems use herbal supplements and extracts to both treat and prevent allergic reactions, especially seasonal allergies.
Though there is little scientific evidence to support the use of most alternative or natural remedies, some people may find that some can provide relief from their symptoms.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians recommend the following natural treatments for allergies:
- Dietary changes. A low-fat diet high in complex carbohydrates, such as beans, whole grains, and vegetables may reduce allergy reactions.
- Bioflavonoids. These plant-based chemicals found in citrus fruits and blackcurrants may act as natural antihistamines. These can also be taken as supplements.
- Supplements. Flaxseed oil, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E are suggested to improve allergy symptoms.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture treatments may help some people to find relief from their symptoms.
A very severe allergic reaction can lead to a condition called anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock.
Anaphylaxis occurs when the bodys immune response to an allergen is so severe and sudden that the body goes into a state of shock.
Anaphylaxis can impact multiple organs and if left untreated lead to coma, organ failure, and death.
The early symptoms of anaphylaxis can be fairly mild and similar to those of minor to moderate allergic reactions, but they often rapidly worsen.
Symptoms unique to anaphylaxis include:
First aid for anaphylaxis includes:
Find Out What The Pollen Level Is In Your Area
Knowing the pollen count can help you plan an attack for allergy symptoms. How can you find out? Just turn on your favorite weather report. Many reports include the pollen count in your area. Or, go online to Pollen.com.
Taking a trip? The pollen count may be higher where youre headed. Check the count at your destination and take along medications just in case.
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Should I Take Or Give My Child Over
The over-the-counter allergy medications are both safe and effective. Steroid nose sprays, such as Flonase, Rhinocort and Nasocort, may help your nose and eye symptoms even if you dont have allergies. 24-hour antihistamines, such as Claritin, Clarinex, Allegra, Zyrtec, and Xyzal, will also help but typically only if you have allergies. It is safe and considered effective to use a steroid nose spray and 24-hour antihistamine together.
Symptoms Of Seasonal Allergies Include The Following:
- nasal congestion
Allergy season starts as early as February, which is when trees begin their pollination process. Grass pollination occurs in the spring and summer months.
In the fall, ragweed is the main culprit when it comes to allergy symptoms. Mold also occurs in the fall months, developing underneath damp piles of leaves.
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What Happens At Your Appointment
A GP may arrange some allergy tests or refer you to a specialist allergy clinic to have them.
Tests you may have include:
- a skin prick or patch test where a small amount of the allergen is put on your skin to see if it reacts
- blood tests to check for allergens that may be causing your symptoms
- a special diet where you avoid or eat less of a food you might be allergic to, to see if your symptoms get better
Symptoms Of Allergies In Dogs
The symptoms of allergies in dogs may vary depending on the cause. A dog that goes into anaphylactic shock, for instance, will have a drop in blood pressure followed by shock, which is very different from a skin condition.
In general, however, the following symptoms could be a sign of an allergic reaction.
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When Should You See An Allergist For Your Seasonal Symptoms
For many people with seasonal allergies, over-the-counter medications are enough to manage their symptoms. But if you find that those options aren’t enough for you, that the side effects associated with those medications are too severe or that your symptoms are getting worse, you should consider talking to your doctor or a board-certified allergist, experts told TODAY.
Additionally, if your symptoms are particularly severe or you have other conditions that allergies may exacerbate, such as asthma, it’s worth having an allergist in your corner to guide you through the options.
If you’ve already tried a bunch of over-the-counter medications, they may recommend prescription antihistamines or the asthma treatment montelukast. Or they might discuss the option of immunotherapy, which can be done with allergy shots or sublingual tablets that dissolve in your mouth.
The nice thing about allergy shots or tablets compared to other treatments for allergies is that “they don’t just treat the symptoms, they actually treat the underlying disease,” Azar said.
Immunotherapy treats allergies by exposing your body to small amounts of the compounds that you’re allergic to, the ACAAI explains. Over time, you’ll become less sensitive to that allergen ideally permanently. But allergy shots are an investment in both time and energy because they require repeated trips to your allergist’s office, likely for a few years.