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How to avoid common allergy triggers

Anyone who has ever had an allergic reaction knows how uncomfortable and even dangerous it can be to come in contact with certain allergy triggers. Whether you react adversely to pollen, mold, pet dander, insect stings, dust mites, or certain foods and medications, there are measures you can take to avoid offending substances. The key is to know what to do before you encounter these harmful elements.  

Unlike seasonal allergies caused by pollen in the atmosphere, dust mites are allergy triggers that one can encounter at almost any time of the year. Symptoms linked to exposure include eye irritation, sneezing, and nasal congestion. In order to avoid such reactions, a person may want to have antihistamines and nasal decongestants on hand. It is also possible to keep these microscopic insects at bay by putting dust mite covers over mattresses and keeping all areas of your home free of dust. Carpets, couches, and curtains are places where dust mites frequently flourish.  
Unfortunately, many animal lovers find that their pets can serve as dangerous allergy triggers. Proteins in animal saliva and oil glands secreted by the skin can cause people to sneeze, break out in hives, or even suffer asthma attacks. Treatments for such reactions include the use of antihistamines, corticosteroids, and other anti-inflammatory drugs. Immunotherapy treatments can also be effective, particularly if symptoms persist. Keep pets groomed, off of furniture, and out of areas where dander can collect to avoid such symptoms.  

Talk to an allergist if you are having trouble keeping reactions to a minimum. Together, you and a specialist can review your activities in order to determine when and where you are being exposed. Armed with this knowledge, you will be better equipped to avoid substances that spark allergic reactions.

Dr. Summit Shah

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