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    All About Nasal Allergies

    continued...

    Also groom your pet regularly, and do it outside of your home. Again, air filtration will help keep the allergens from circulating.

    And if your reaction is severe, Sublett says you should think about getting allergy shots, also called " immunotherapy." It helps your immune system tame your allergy symptoms. “With animals, shots can be a game-changer,” he says.

    3. Be Smart When You Venture Out

    Pollen counts are usually higher in the early- to mid-morning hours, and they let up as the day goes on.

    Pollen is always less sneezy for you after it rains, too. Mold, on the other hand, is worse after it rains, and in the evenings during times of high humidity. Windy days, when allergens are stirred up, aren’t great.

    Hitting the road? When you go on vacation or for business, take your own pillow, encased in a dust-proof cover. Pick a hotel that doesn’t allow pets or smoking, since allergens can attach to smoke particles.

    4. Medication: The Right Tool for the Right Job

    All of these prevention steps won’t get rid of allergens from your life. Sublett shares his symptom-by-symptom recommendations for meds:

    Irritated eyes: A cool compress and wearing sunglasses outdoors can often help, but antihistamine eye drops can also do the trick. Antihistamine and steroid nasal sprays may give you some benefits, too.

    Runny nose: Try salt water (saline) sprays. “They can wash things out,” Sublett says.

    Congestion: Sublett says decongestant nasal sprays lower blood flow to the nose, and when they wear off, they can lead to more congestion. He suggests instead using a combination of antihistamines and a steroid nasal spray to ease swelling of nasal passages.

    Sneezing: Steroid nasal sprays and antihistamines can help with the achoos, if allergies are the cause. If you have a cold or the flu, they won’t help.

    Postnasal drip: Use saline. You can also try gargling with warm salt water. “It may not get rid of it,” Sublett says. “But it’ll break up the mucus in the back of your throat.”

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