Allergies: The Basics

Allergies are negative reactions that occur as a result of coming into contact with a normally harmless substance. These substances, or allergens, are inhaled, injected, ingested or even simply touched.

Symptoms

Allergy symptoms often go unrecognised. You may falsely believe you have a cold or the flu. While the symptoms are similar, allergies can be differentiated. Common symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose and itchy, watery eyes.

Risk Factors

Allergies can develop at any age. People who are most susceptible include those under age 40 and have at least one parent with allergies. Allergies can also change or disappear over time, while others recur at the same time each year and last for a few weeks or months.

Prevention

Allergists can perform skin tests to determine which substances are causing the skin to have an adverse reaction. Avoiding those allergens can help alleviate some symptoms, as can these preventive measures:

  • Stay indoors on days when pollen counts are high (hayfever).
  • Keep your home clean and as dust-free as possible.
  • Ask your allergist about the benefits of a home air purifier.
  • Put pillows and mattresses in allergen-proof encasements.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with double bags or allergen-trapping bags.
  • Try not to have dogs and cats in your home if you are allergic to pet dander.
  • Choose hardwood floors with washable scatter rugs rather than wall-to-wall carpeting.
Allergy Treatment

Treatment for most allergies is available over-the-counter and by prescription. Your doctor may suggest several treatment methods:

  • Antihistamine medications work by blocking the effects of histamines, the chemicals that cause many allergy symptoms. However, antihistamines may also cause drowsiness.
  • Nasal sprays are often recommended to reduce nasal inflammation, congestion, sneezing and runny nose.
  • Decongestants help dry up nasal passages and reduce the swelling that causes stuffiness.

If your allergy symptoms are severe or chronic, you may need a series of allergy shots. Contact your doctor or allergist to determine which treatment option is best suited for your particular allergy symptoms.

Read our other posts

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

Don’t ditch those New Year’s Resolutions: use this guidance to reach your goals. Whether it be sticking to a healthy diet, boosting your fitness levels or quitting a bad habit, New Year’s resolutions are the perfect reason to alter your lifestyle for the better. However, it’s no secret that these goals are often long forgotten […]

How to Keep Your Spirits High in Wintertime

How to Keep Your Spirits High in Wintertime

As the days get shorter, they can begin to feel darker as well-both physically and mentally. The lacking sunlight combined with increasingly cloudy skies can result in harmful effects to your mental health, such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In fact, nearly 25 per cent of those who experience the ‘winter blues’ develop SAD, which […]

Marriott Guests Exposed by Recent Hack

Marriott Guests Exposed by Recent Hack

Personal information from 500 million Marriott guests exposed in Recent Hack. Marriott International, a hospitality company that oversees one of the largest hotel chains in the world, recently announced that its guest booking system had been hacked. Marriott indicated that information from approximately 500 million of their guests had been exposed in the breach, making […]

Defrosting Your Car

Defrosting Your Car

Now that the cold mornings are here and our morning is now a little bit longer, as drivers across the UK are having to make extra time to defrost & defog their cars. We’ve created this guide with handy tips and tricks, that can help you get on your way that little bit quicker. Step 1: […]

Stress Management

Stress Management

Hectic schedules can also lead to increased stress levels, so it’s important to alleviate stress whenever you can. Too much stress can lead to the following health issues: insomnia, anxiety or depression, low morale, short temper, headaches, stomach aches, back problems. Use the following tips to help alleviate stress as it comes your way. Tips […]