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    All About Nasal Allergies

    By Tony Rehagen
    WebMD Feature
    Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD

    Nasal allergies can have symptoms like a cold -- watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and congestion -- that just won’t seem to go away. If your reaction to pollen, mold, dust, or pets is severe enough, it can change your day-to-day life.

    But you can do things to stifle your sniffles. Start with these ideas from allergist James L. Sublett, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

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    1. Get Your Home in Order

    It should be your fortress, a ship on the angry sea of nasal allergies. If you're allergic to pollen, keep the outdoors out.

    Shut the windows and crank the air conditioning no matter how nice the weather. Sublett says it might also be a good idea to put a filtration system in the furnace and AC to screen out allergens.

    Next, if you have the budget for a big change, he recommends you get rid of as much upholstery and carpet as possible. Replace it with hardwoods and smooth surfaces where a wet rag or mop can easily pick up dust or pet hair.

    Mold can show up inside your home, too. Keep bathrooms clean and dry. Be quick to repair and seal leaking pipes or roofs. Damp basements may need a dehumidifier, but be sure to empty them regularly.

    Take special care to allergy-proof your bedroom. Avoid down-filled pillows or comforters, a favorite of dust mites. Use zippered, hypoallergenic covers for pillows and mattresses.

    2. Keep Fido at Bay

    It’s a plot made for tragedy: Woman loves man. Woman is allergic to man’s dog. Sublett says this drama doesn’t have to end in heartbreak -- or a sinus headache.

    First, make sure you're actually allergic to your partner's other best friend. “I see it in patients fairly frequently,” Sublett says. “They come in and tell me, ‘It must be my dog.’ It may not be.” It could be another allergen or even another animal. “You can pick up animal allergens from different places, other houses, people’s clothes.”

    If you know it's Fido that’s making your nose run, it’s a good idea to mark your territory. “At minimum, keep them out of the bedroom,” Sublett says. “Definitely off the bed.”

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