Keep a Healthy Perspective

So you have a list of allergens that can make you feel sick. But you may feel overwhelmed when it comes to figuring out how to make the facts connect to your everyday situation.

First, it can help to put things into a broader perspective. The American Academy of Asthma, Allergies and Immunology reports that allergies are the fifth most common condition affecting Americans. Although this is clearly a widespread problem, the good news is that many people who suffer from this disease leave healthy and productive lives. It just takes a little more effort to make wise decisions that can help keep the symptoms in check.

Let the Facts Guide You

The first step in getting control of your allergies is to look at your triggers for patterns that can dictate your actions. This will allow you to effectively take control of your condition and environment instead of letting it manage you. That is always a danger in a chronic illness, but in the case of allergies, the experts stress this is a manageable issue and there is no reason to sit back and be a victim.

When you examine your list of allergens, you may notice that outdoor or seasonal factors seem to be a leading cause. Or, it could be indoor things like dust, air spray and mold. Recognizing these categories can help guide your actions.

For instance, if seasonal allergens seem to be a big concern, you may need to steer clear of outdoor parks and similar settings when grass, trees and flowers are in full bloom and pollen is everywhere. Similarly, if exhaust fumes and pollution seem to make you sick, that may also influence when it's okay to head outside and when it's better to stay in. Further, if you find that pet dander sets your sneezing and itchy throat in motion, you may need to relocate your dog or cat somewhere away from your bedroom and living areas. These are easy, but important, ways to keep yourself feeling your best.

Control What You Can

While everyone has different allergens that cause their allergy symptoms to kick in, there are some general steps you can take to minimize your exposure to a variety of things that may be irritants: For instance, here are some strategic steps to allergy-proof your home that many medical experts suggest:

  • Minimize exposure to dust and dust mites by vacuuming, changing sheets and dusting often. (If the act of cleaning makes allergies worse, rely on a family member or hire someone to do this for you.)
  • Steer clear of scented products such as soaps, detergents, air fresheners and perfumes. The scents can often spark allergies.
  • Keep windows closed during peak pollen times.
  • Shower after being outdoors or around pets.
  • Wash clothing frequently on hot water.
  • Avoid damp areas where mold could grow.
  • Use an air filter or dehumidifier to keep breathing conditions optimal.

Be Prepared

While you can take important steps to feel your best, you will also need to be prepared for times when things don't go as planned. Therefore, you should have an allergy treatment plan ready and waiting. This may consist of control medications that can help minimize your reaction to your allergens, as well as fast-acting treatments you can take when, despite your best prevention attempts, your symptoms do kick in.