If you have recently discovered that you are allergic to something, you might be wondering what happens next: What kind of allergy medications should I be taking? How do I avoid the things that I am allergic to? Can allergies be cured? For answers to these and many other questions you may have, we are here for you!
Individualized Allergy Treatment Plans
As your highly trained and experienced Atlanta allergist, Dr. Chacko will create an allergy treatment plan to take care of your individual needs. Allergy treatment plans generally consist of any combination of the following options:
- Environmental – simply avoiding your allergens, if possible
- Medicinal – prescription or over-the-counter tablets, nasal sprays, eye drops, etc.
- Immunotherapeutic – more commonly known as allergy shots
- Auto-injectors – i.e., the EpiPen, for allergic reactions that range from extreme to life-threatening
How Do I Avoid Allergens?
The most common way to avoid allergens is to limit your need for allergy medications and avoid your allergens as much as you can. This could include reducing washing your nose out daily, staying away from items that cause your allergies to act up, keep your home and spaces you spend time at like the office clean and free of possible allergens.
What Medicines Can I Take for Allergies?
There are many prescription and over the counter medications that are here for you to relieve allergy systems. If left untreated it can result in painful problems like sinus infections, ear infections, runny nose, sore eyes and more. Here is a brief list of some allergy medications that can help:
- Nasal Corticosteroids – Also known as nose sprays. These medications can reduce swelling that causes sneezing, itchy and runny noses. Nose sprays are the most effective medicine for nasal and sinus allergies.
- Antihistamines – Can calm sneezing, itching, runny nose, and hives. They come in many different forms like pills, liquids melting tablets and nose sprays.
- Mast Cell Stabilizers – This can help with itchy, watery eyes or itchy, watery noses. The 2 formats that they come in are eye drops or nasal sprays.
- Decongestants – can reduce stuffiness. They do this by shrinking the swollen membranes in the nose. When using decongestants be careful when coming off them, and do not use them more than 3 times a day. This could result in more swelling and stuffiness.
- Corticosteroid Creams or Ointments – can relieve itchiness and stop rashes from spreading. If you use these creams for a week and you do not see an improvement in your rash, contact your doctor.
- Oral Corticosteroids – These are a prescribed drug that will help reduce swelling and stop severe allergic reactions. Your doctor will monitor you as you start on this medication.
- Epinephrine – These are pre-measured shots that are in a self-injectable device. These are used when your allergies are life-threatening and should be kept on you always. For this to work properly you must get the shot within minutes of the first sign of a serious reaction. Once administered go to the emergency room.
What Immunotherapy Treatments Are Available to Me?
Immunotherapy is a treatment option offered to some allergy patients. There are 2 common types of Immunotherapy treatments which include:
- Allergy Shots
- Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)
Allery shots are injections that are given to the patient, that includes allergens and the dose is increased over time. With this treatment, a person becomes less sensitive to that allergen slowly.
SLIT is another way to treat certain allergies but without injections. A trained allergist like Dr. Chacko will give some patients small doses of the allergen under the tongue. This technique can improve tolerance to the substance and reduce the patient’s symptoms. Talk to your Atlanta allergist Dr. Chacko today to learn more about SLIT today.
What Are the Common Seasonal Allergy Symptoms?
There are many different seasonal allergy symptoms that people get year-round. Some of these allergy symptoms could include the following:
- Post-nasal drip
- Excess mucus production
- Runny nose
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Tickle/irritation in the ears
- Decreased concentration and focus
- Decreased decision-making
- Exhaustion and sleep disorders
- Mood swings
- Low blood pressure
- Middle ear infections
Treating your seasonal allergy symptoms can be as easy as changing your lifestyle including your diet, and natural treatments.
How Can I Treat an Allergy Symptoms Naturally?
To counteract the effect of the histamine produced by your body you can try antihistamines, corticosteroids, and decongestants, as well as some over the counter allergy medications.
There are other ways to naturally treat your allergy symptoms that include not taking medications if they are mild symptoms. Some of these treatments include changing your diet, making sure that your home is always clean, and keeping away from the allergens that cause your allergies to act up.
Three natural ways to fight allergies include the following:
Neti Pot – Using one of these during allergy season is a very effective way to relieve nasal congestion and flush out mucus.
Essential Oils – Using an essential oils diffuser with menthol, eucalyptus, lavender or peppermint oil can help open the nasal passages and lungs. These can also improve circulation and as a bonus feature, relieve stress and more.
Acupuncture – reduces the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
Foods to Avoid During Allergy Season
Foods that can contribute to your seasonal allergy symptoms and make them worse include alcohol, caffeine, dairy, chocolate, peanuts, sugar, wheat, citrus, chocolate, common food preservatives (sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium sulfite and artificial sweeteners)
Below is a full list of food items to stay away from if you have allergies:
- Conventional dairy
- Artificial sweeteners
- Processed foods
- Sunflower seeds
- Bottled citrus juice
If you are allergic to a type of food, the treatment that your allergist will attempt first that is 100% natural is called an elimination diet. During this treatment, you will be told to not eat certain common foods from your daily diet. When the symptoms start to decrease then your allergist gets an idea of what is causing your allergies.
Foods to Enjoy During Allergy Season
The following is a list of foods that are good for strengthening your immune system, while also tasting great!
- Raw local honey – Relieves symptoms because it already contains local pollen that causes allergies. Taking a couple tablespoons of Honey, each day can improve allergy symptoms.
- Hot and Spicy Foods – This treatment thins the mucus in your body to allow it to be more easily expressed. Add Garlic, onion, ginger, cinnamon or cayenne pepper to your recipes.
- Bone Broth – From Chicken, beef, or lamb can help ease respiratory problems. It can also help nasal mucus.
- Probiotic-Rich Foods – These will support a stronger immune system, improve digestion, as well as increase energy levels.
- Pineapple – has an enzyme called Bromelain and elevated levels of vitamin B, and other essential nutrients that help reduce the reactions to seasonal allergies.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Helps boost your immune system, breaking down mucus and supports lymphatic drainage.
- Fresh Organic Vegetables – Include swiss chard, cabbage, beets, carrots, and yams that can help your body fight seasonal allergies.
- Clean Proteins – Grass-fed meats, free-range poultry, and wild-caught fish provide the right vitamins. Omega 3, essential minerals and proteins help boost your immune system.
Best Supplements for Allergy Symptoms:
- Vitamin A
- Stinging Nettles
4 Ways to Help Seasonal Allergies
Here is a quick list of 4 ways to help improve your allergies during allergy season.
- Know Your Allergy Triggers
- Ragweed and other pollens – ragweed is a plant that produces a billion pollen grains in a season. These pollen grains can travel up to 400 miles.
- Molds – Outdoor molds can grow in heavy vegetation, fallen leaves, hey and straw. Outdoor molds can worsen after rain.
- Learn Do-It-Yourself Measures
- Wear protective masks when in a high allergen area.
- Use Hepa filters to better trap pollen spores in your home.
- Before traveling or activities outside, check the pollen count beforehand.
- Protect your eyes – wear sunglasses to reduce the amount of pollen encountering your eyes.
- Wash your hair daily to remove all pollens, this will help with allergens being transferred to your pillows then eyes.
- Exercise in the morning or late day when pollen counts are lower. When exercising your tent to take in more air from heavy breathing.
- Check our pets. If you had your dog outside for an extended period, rinse him off to make sure no pollen travels into the house.
- Get Proper Treatment
- See your allergist or family doctor about allergy symptoms so they can prescribe you with the proper medications.
- Beware of Foods That Trigger Your Symptoms
- Check the list of foods to stay away from if you have allergies to ragweed.
- If you’re unsure which causes stronger symptoms try an elimination diet.
Questions About Your Allergy and Treatment?
When you come in for your initial assessment, we will be happy to address any of your questions or concerns to ensure that you are well-informed of everything relating to your allergy. Patient education is one of our top priorities! Although your allergist has the necessary training and knowledge to recommend the appropriate treatment for your unique case, an ability to take care of yourself can make all the difference.
Please note that while an allergy treatment plan cannot cure an allergy, it can treat and control your symptoms. We can help relieve your sneezing, itchy and/or watery eyes, skin rashes or hives, and much more!
Contact Your Allergy Treatment Physician, Dr. Thomas Chacko Today
To learn more about allergy treatment plans and/or to begin the process of creating one to combat your own allergy, please do not hesitate to contact us today. Northside Allergy and Asthma have 5 locations in and around Atlanta, GA – Atlanta, Roswell, Duluth, Cummings, or Johns Creek.
***Note: Contact a doctor before trying to cure your allergies alone.