If you are suffering from nasal allergies that have you sniffling and sneezing, you don't have to suffer needlessly. There are several measures you can take to help you find relief from the runny nose, watery, itchy eyes and misery of your symptoms. The first thing you should do is see your allergy specialist and receive an evaluation. Additionally, you might try the following.
1. Get Tested for Allergies
Because it is estimated that more than 50 million people across the U.S. experience some type of nasal allergies, testing has become a common practice. Before you can receive treatment, you need to determine what is causing your allergy symptoms. Doctors at the Allergy and Asthma Clinic of Fort Worth perform specialized testing that may help pinpoint the exact cause of your allergies.
Most commonly, this includes skin testing or what is often referred to as a patch test. Your doctor may recommend a blood test in addition to the skin test or as a standalone alternative. With skin testing, you may receive a prick on your skin with a substance believed to be an allergen.
Your doctor will note if you experience a reaction to the substance on your skin. If the substance turns out to be an allergen, the small area of tested skin may become red or possibly swell to some degree. If further testing is needed, the doctor may inject your forearm with a small specimen of a suspected allergen. Within a short period of time (often under 30 minutes) positive or negative results will be seen by your doctor.
Allergy skin testing generally causes little or no side effects. Some individuals may develop small, itchy bumps on the tested area, however. This will not cause much discomfort and will typically vanish after a few hours.
2. Talk to Your Physician About Low-Risk Allergy Medications
If over-the-counter allergy medications do not provide adequate relief or if you prefer a prescription-strength dose, speak with your allergy specialist. He or she may also recommend a low-risk medication that will not cause complications.
For instance, if you have high blood pressure, you might want to avoid using any type of oral decongestant which could raise your blood pressure or cause you to be jittery. If you operate machinery or you need to be alert for your job, speak with your doctor about using an allergy medication that will not make you drowsy. Non-drowsy antihistamines may be prescribed.
3. Consider Having Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)
Once you have been professionally diagnosed with allergies and your doctor has determined the cause, you may have the option of receiving a series of allergy shots. Allergy shots are designed to help your immune system become non-affected by allergens that have been causing your symptoms. Over time, your body may develop an immunity to these allergens.
Your doctor may prescribe allergy shots if you have not found relief with the use of traditional allergy medication. Your immunotherapy may involve weekly visits over a period of several months or longer. These shots will contain a minuscule amount of allergens such as dust mites or pollen. Injections are administered into your arm.
Your doctor should be informed of any herbal supplements or prescription medications you are taking. Some substances may react with the allergy shots and cause some type of side effect.
In addition to receiving diagnostic testing from your allergy specialist or clinic, there are other steps you can take at home to work in conjunction with professional care. For instance, you should make your home as allergy-resistant as possible. Use allergy-proof encasements for your bed pillows, an air purifier in your sleeping area, and a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.Although your allergies may currently be causing you a lot of discomfort, by following these steps, you will be able to find relief from your symptoms. Contact the Allergy and Asthma Clinic of Fort Worth today to schedule your allergy testing.