Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

Some allergy symptoms improve with home treatment.

  • Sinus congestion and hay fever symptoms. These symptoms often improve with saline nasal irrigation — rinsing out the sinuses with a salt and water solution. You can use a neti pot or a specially designed squeeze bottle to flush out thickened mucus and irritants from your nose. However, improper use of a neti pot or other device can lead to infection.
  • Household airborne allergy symptoms. Reduce your exposure to dust mites or pet dander by frequently washing bedding and stuffed toys in hot water, maintaining low humidity, regularly using a vacuum with a fine filter such as a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and replacing carpeting with hard flooring.
  • Mold allergy symptoms. Reduce moisture in damp areas, such as your bath and kitchen, by using ventilation fans and dehumidifiers. Fix leaks inside and outside your home.

Prevention

Preventing allergic reactions depends on the type of allergy you have. General measures include the following:

  • Avoid known triggers. Even if you're treating your allergy symptoms, try to avoid triggers. If, for instance, you're allergic to pollen, stay inside with windows and doors closed during periods when pollen is high. If you're allergic to dust mites, dust and vacuum and wash bedding often.
  • Keep a diary. When trying to identify what causes or worsens your allergic symptoms, track your activities and what you eat, when symptoms occur and what seems to help. This may help you and your doctor identify triggers.
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet. If you've ever had a severe allergic reaction, a medical alert bracelet (or necklace) lets others know that you have a serious allergy in case you have a reaction and you're unable to communicate.
  • Continue to eat normally if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Guidelines no longer recommend avoiding highly allergenic foods when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. In fact, studies now suggest this exposure may protect children against future allergies.
Nov. 22, 2016
References
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