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How the Environment Affects Our Allergies

Allergies Find out what could be the cause of your allergy symptoms and what you can do to combat them.

If you suffer from allergies in Hagerstown, chances are good that you’re trying to pinpoint the culprit. Find out if your symptoms could be caused by an environmental trigger and how you can best reduce your allergy problems.

Pollen: This is one of the most common allergies around, and, unfortunately, it can be a bit difficult to avoid. While avoidance is the best way to reduce your symptoms it can feel nearly impossible to avoid outdoor triggers unless you lock yourself in the house. Therefore, more practical options include taking over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines or nasal steroids to prevent itching, sneezing and itchy eyes.

However, for those with more severe symptoms, your Hagerstown ENT doctor might discuss the possibility of allergy shots, which can reduce your symptoms for the long-term.

Dust mites: While you might think of allergies and immediately think of outdoor factors, there are also environmental triggers that live indoors like your very own home. For example, dust mites are microscopic bugs that thrive in bedding, carpets and furniture.

While they don’t bite like bed bugs, they can cause congestion, headaches and sinus problems. However, by maintaining good home care you can reduce your dust mite symptoms. Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter can help to keep the air around you clean. Be sure to vacuum furniture and carpets regularly and wash your bedding in warm water at least once a week.

Pets: We all feel like our pets are family so we hate to point fingers; however, your allergy symptoms could be the result of pet dander. However, you don’t have to part ways with your trusty sidekick in order to experience some relief. Bathing your pets each week can go a long way to reducing your exposure to not only their dander but the outdoor allergens they pick up in their fur. Also, since allergens can also be found in an animal’s urine or saliva you’ll want to limit exposure to your cat’s litter box, as well.

Mold and mildew: If you find your allergy symptoms kicking into full gear around the fall season, then you may have an allergy to mold or mildew. To minimize your symptoms your Hagerstown ENT doctor recommends avoiding leave piles and remove plant debris from around your yard and home. You a dehumidifier in your home to decrease humidity and limit how many plants are in your home. A HEPA-filter air conditioner can also reduce your mold and mild allergy symptoms.

Cigarettes: While we don’t often consider cigarette smoke as an allergen, this smoke can exacerbate environmental allergies. Since the lining of your nose, sinuses and lungs are already irritated and inflamed from environmental factors, they can become worse when around cigarettes or strong perfumes. Avoid cigarettes altogether if you suffer from environmental allergies.

Tired of dealing with allergies in Hagerstown? Ready to find a remedy that works? Then it’s time to see Dr. Kirby Scott, your ENT doctor. Schedule an appointment today.