It's possible to manage your allergies so they won't interfere too much on your daily life. The key is to take steps to avoid your allergy triggers and manage your symptoms as needed.

The First Step to Success

When you're trying to find the best way to manage your chronic allergies, you'll need to know what sparks the reaction. Most allergies usually fall within the following three categories:

  • Seasonal allergy triggers, including pollen, grass, and trees
  • Indoor allergy triggers, including pets, dust, cleaning supplies, and scented bath and beauty products
  • Food allergy triggers, including nuts, wheat and gluten, seafood, and eggs

Some people have only one type of allergy, while others experience immune- system reactions that fall into two or all of these types.

Allergy Management Tips

Once you know what you're dealing with, you can use these basic allergy management tips for each type of allergy to help you to feel your best.

Seasonal Allergy Management:

  • Check the pollen count regularly through your local newspaper or radio station, or visit American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's website to look up the pollen count in your area.
  • Stay indoors on days when there's a high count of pollen, mold, and ragweed in the air.
  • Plan outdoor activities after it rains, which is when allergens are at their lowest.
  • Shower after spending time outside to remove pollen and other triggers trapped in your hair and on your skin.
  • Keep your doors and windows closed.
  • Run the air conditioning to clean your air.

Indoor Allergy Management:

  • Keep pets out of your bedroom.
  • Remove rugs, books, and clutter from your room, all of which can harbor dust.
  • Wash your bedding often and keep your pillows and mattress in hypoallergenic covers to seal in dust mites.
  • Select bath and cleaning products that are scent-free.
  • Fix any leaks in your kitchen or bathroom to prevent mold growth.
  • Run the air conditioner or a dehumidifier to keep your air free of allergens and to discourage mildew from developing.

Food Allergy Management:

  • Know exactly what ingredients spark a reaction.
  • Read food labels and ask questions in restaurants to be sure you know if certain dishes contain an ingredient that could cause an allergic reaction.
  • Keep in mind that some common ingredients can go by many different names so be familiar with all of the variations.
  • Understand that cross contamination can make even "safe" foods dangerous for you.
  • When in doubt, eat only food you prepare yourself.
  • Always carry an EpiPen® in case you do have a reaction.

Treatment Matters

For seasonal and indoor allergies, if avoiding your triggers isn't enough, your doctor can prescribe medication that can help head off a reaction. In more severe cases, and for those with serious food allergies, undergoing allergy immunizations can be an important step to help you build up tolerance to your biggest allergy triggers.




 "Food Allergy Diagnosis." American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology., n.d. Web. 19 May 2011.

"Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States: What's in it for the Patient?" American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology., 3 Dec. 2010 Web. 19 May 2011.

"Managing Indoor Allergen Culprits." American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. AAAAI, n.d. Web, 24 May 2011.

"New Guidelines for Handling Food Allergies." National Public Radio., 7 Feb. 2011. Web. 19 May 2011.

"Tips to Remember: Outdoor Allergens." American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. AAAAI, 2010. Web, 24 May 2011.