Now Playing: Living With Allergies
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Treating allergies is most effective when medicines are combined with avoiding or minimizing the offending allergen. Doctors use the term "trigger, or allergen, avoidance".
The first step in trigger avoidance is to figure out what causes your allergies. To do this, doctors use skin or blood tests.
The next step is to reduce or eliminate exposure to the offending allergen.
For people with outdoor allergies, this can be easier said than done. It's not like you can stay inside for three months to "wait them out". But you can try and stay indoors on high pollen count days or during the early morning or late afternoon when pollen counts tend to be highest. Limiting time outside on windy days can also decrease the chances for symptoms.
You can then do things to keep the outside air out. This includes:
• Keeping windows closed in the home and car
• Using air conditioning to filter the air.
When you are outside and come back inside, you want to contain the allergen within the house. Be especially mindful of the bedroom, since you spend a lot of time there each day.
To decrease the spread of outdoor allergens within your house, you can:
• Change your clothes in the laundry room
• Keep pets that spend time outside out of the bedroom
• Shower before bedtime to remove allergens from the skin and hair.
You can also wash your nose with a saline spray or rinse after being out.
side. This will get any allergens out of the lining of the nose.
Outdoor allergies are just one type of allergy. Search "preventing allergies" on eMedTV to read about what can be done for indoor allergies.
One final thought -- When it comes to trigger avoidance for allergies, some recommendations are cheap and easy. Others are more expensive and/or less practical for your given situation. Talk with your healthcare provider about specific recommendations that are practical for you.
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