Allergies are abnormal reactions to ordinarily harmless substances. The sensitizing substances, called allergens, may be inhaled, swallowed, or come into contact with the skin.
Allergens that most frequently cause problems are: pollens, mold spores, house dust mites, animal danders, foods, insect bites or stings, plants, insect spores, latex rubber, viruses, bacteria, medications and environmental conditions (such as cold temperatures). Allergic reactions can occur in one area, such as sneezing or a skin rash or sneezing, or may include more than one symptom.
here are three general approaches to the treatment of allergic diseases such as allergic rhinitis: avoidance of the allergen, medication to relieve symptoms and allergy shots.
* Wear a pollen mask when mowing the grass or housecleaning.
* Stay indoors in the morning (when the pollen count is at its highest) and on windy days.
* Read and understand food labels (for people with food allergies).
* Keep windows and doors closed during heavy pollination seasons.
* Use the air conditioner in the house and car.
* Rid the home of indoor plants and other sources of mildew.
* Don't allow dander-producing animals in the house.
* Change feather pillows, woolen blankets and clothing to cotton or synthetic materials.
* Enclose mattress, box springs and pillows in plastic barrier cloth.
* Wash sheets, mattress pad and blankets weekly in hot water (at least 130F).
* Remove carpets and upholstered furniture (drastic measure).
* Use acaricide (a chemical that kills house-dust mites) or a tannic acid solution (solution that neutralizes the allergen in mite droppings).
* Use air filters.
* Use a dehumidifier.