Anonymous asks:

What are some ways to get ahead of allergies before they wreck havoc upon our bodies?

Last autumn, two members of our family (40-year-old mom and 8-year-old daughter) were diagnosed with allergies for the first time. By then, we were already sick: with running noses and sneezes every day, post-nasal drip, and weeks-long coughs. We did not have fevers, and the doctors did not believe we had H1N1 or other flu. Instead, they said our problem was seasonal environmental allergies.

Back then, we bought air purifiers that take allergens out of the air we breathe inside our home. Recently, though, I noticed that we started having sneezes and running noses in the house again, though no cough or post-nasal drip yet. What can we do to prevent full-blown allergy attacks before they start?

I should also note: we have pets (guinea pigs and dogs), and we love the outdoors. We don't like pharmaceutical regimens, but realize that at some point, we may have to take daily pills to prevent the allergies from turning into asthma (two of our relatives skipped allergy pharmaceuticals and later developed asthma).

We welcome your suggestions for preventative control of allergies before the physical/sick symptoms develop (and as well as any ideas you have for scientifically-proven alternatives to curing or controlling the problem after symptoms develop). Thanks!
In Topics: Physical Health, Nature and outdoors, Medical problems
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
Mar 31, 2010
Subscribe to Expert

What the Expert Says:

Great Question and timely.  Allergies present at different times in the US and are weather related.  Most allergies are a body's reaction or "hypersensitivity" to something in the environment, food, medicine.  there can be good years and bad years and start at any age.  Family history, childhood eczema, food intolerance early on and male sex are some of the predisposing factors.

First mark on your calendar when symptoms and signs first appeared so that the next year you are not caught off guard. Second, get rid of rugs, stuffed toys, plants and other things in a bed room that allow for allergies to penetrate.  Animals out of the bedroom.  Third, air purifiers are fine--change the filters from time to time.  fourth, when kids are finished playing outdoors, strip down in the laundry room and don't bring the dirty clothes into the bedroom.  Finally, shower before bed to get rid of pollen in the hair etc..  Some families also put plastic mattress and pillow covers under the sheets and pillow case to prevent dust mites as well. Close windows and use an electrostatic filter on your A/C.

Over the counter medicines usually do the trick if all else fails.  Using saline or salt water nasal washes also help.

It has been wet in most of the country so we will have great pollen.  Good luck!

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

Did you find this answer useful?

Additional Answers (2)

Dr.Monika , Child Professional writes:
Your family members seem to be among the 20% of the U.S. population suffering from seasonal allergies.  

Prevention is the first step in helping reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of life.  Consider the following:

1. Avoid peak pollen count times of the early morning (between 5-10 a.m.)
2. Keep car windows down when driving
3. Ragweed pollen count is the highest on hot, dry, and windy days.  If you can, stay at home on such days and use the air conditioning
4. Change furnace filters monthly  
5. Wear a mask when mowing your lawn, or when gardening

For more suggestions, please read the following:

Allergy survival guide

Year-round allergy remedies
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
pdee1202 writes:
i take a teaspoon of honey from a local bee farmer to help with m seasonal allergies.  Use honey that is collected CLOSE to home (30 miles or less) to help the best.  the bees collect from the flowers that might be causing ur allergies and it helps ur immune system
> 60 days ago

Did you find this answer useful?
Answer this question


You are about to choose ${username}'s answer as the best answer.

Cancel | Continue

*You can change the best answer in the future if you think that you received a better answer

How likely are you to recommend to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely