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Allergy Tips from our Columbus Allergists

Allergies can make life difficult, and it’s important to develop habits that reduce your exposure to allergens. Our Columbus allergists have put together a collection of tips so that you can help to avoid allergens.

Handling Symptoms: When suffering from allergy symptoms, taking some time to handle the symptoms can make the rest of your day easier.

  1. Allergy symptoms can take a big toll on your well-being. If you’re having trouble with allergies, go inside and rest; overdoing it and running around when you feel bad will only make you feel worse.
  2. Gargling with salt water can soothe a sore or scratchy throat, treat your nasal allergies to decrease mucus drainage and sore throat.
  3. Try a saline nasal rinse (either with a neti pot or rinse bottle), which helps clear allergens that collect in your nasal membranes, minimizing symptoms. ONLY USE DISTILLED WATER. Don’t use water straight from the tap- it's not safe!
  4. Antihistamines come in pill, liquid or nasal spray form. They can relieve sneezing and itching in the nose and eyes. They also reduce a runny nose and, to a lesser extent, nasal stuffiness.
  5. Decongestants are available as pills, liquids, nasal sprays or drops. They help shrink the lining of the nasal passages and relieve nasal stuffiness. Use decongestants for no more than a few days, if you need them longer, see your Columbus allergist
  6. Nasal corticosteroids are a type of nasal spray. They reduce inflammation in the nose and block allergic reactions. They are the most effective medicine for hay fever because they can reduce all symptoms, including nasal congestion.

General Allergy Tips:

  1. Good allergy treatment can include three different treatment strategies: avoidance of allergens, medications, and/or immunotherapy (allergy shots). If you find yourself unable to avoid allergens, you may need medication. If medication isn’t helping enough, you may want to look into immunotherapy.
  2. If your allergy is seasonal, start taking your allergy medication before the season begins. Most allergy medicines work more effectively this way.
  3. You can live a normal life despite having allergies. If you’re not sure what to do, see your Columbus allergist for treatment and guidance.

Pollen Allergies: A sensitivity to pollen is one of the most common allergies our Columbus allergists see. If you are allergic to pollen, we recommend some specific tips.

  1. Remove your shoes outside the door and throw your clothes in the hamper after you spend time outside on a high pollen day.
  2. Shower at night to wash off any lingering pollen from your body and hair before you get into bed.
  3. Have a dog or outdoor cat? Wipe their paws and fur when they enter your home too, since pollen can cling to them.
  4. Check pollen counts in the morning and try to stay indoors when they're high.
  5. If you're allergic to pollen, keep your windows closed and run an air conditioner.
  6. Use central air conditioning with a HEPA filter attachment. This applies to your home and any vehicle.
  7. Wash your bedding with hot water once a week to prevent allergens from collecting there each night.
  8. Wear sunglasses and a hat. This will help keep pollen out of your eyes and off your hair.
  9. Dry your clothes in a clothes dryer, not on an outdoor line.
  10. Pollen counts are usually highest in the morning, between 5:00am and 10:00am, so limiting your outside exposure during those times can be extremely helpful for diminishing your allergy symptoms. Limit exposure on mornings that are especially warm and dry; these will usually be the high pollen count days.