The New Year gives people an opportunity to focus on bettering themselves. While not everyone sets New Year’s resolutions, many people find that committing to written goals at the beginning of the year helps them improve various aspects of their lives.
The most oft-made resolutions focus on family, finances, and health. If you have allergies, consider making 2018 the year that you learn to manage them properly. Here are a few tips to get you pointed in the right direction.
- Develop a plan with your healthcare provider. Make an appointment to discuss your symptoms, your medical history and possible testing and treatment options.
- Eat well. Eating nutrient-rich foods will strengthen the immune system. If you have food allergies, your health care provider can help you better understand what you are allergic to and how to treat attendant food allergy symptoms.
- Learn how and when to use allergy medications. If your doctor prescribes allergy drugs such as antihistamines, make sure that you understand their proper usage. This could include the best time of day to take the medication so that it does not interfere with other aspects of your health such as your sleep schedule. You should also understand how long you can safely take a medication without stirring up other side effects.
- Sleep well. A well-rested immune system works better than a sleep-deprived one.
- Avoid triggers. If pet dander stirs up your allergies, stay away from places where pets have been. If you have problems with dust, install HEPA filters in your home, vacuum frequently, and wash your bedding regularly in hot water. If mold is your nemesis, keep your home well-ventilated and try using a dehumidifier.
- Avoid stress. Stress can affect many aspects of your mental and physical health.
If allergies persist in spite of medications and avoidance efforts, talk to your doctor about allergy immunotherapy through allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy allergy drops. Allergy immunotherapy is the only treatment known to change the underlying allergy—not just its symptoms.
If you have food allergies, sublingual allergy drops have been shown to help diminish reactions to foods as well as to pollens and other environmental triggers.