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    How to Beat Summer Allergies

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    What Are Summer Allergy Symptoms?

    They’re pretty much the same as those that troubled you in the spring:

    How Are They Diagnosed?

    Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms and allergy history. He may suggest treatments.

    Or he might refer you to doctor who specializes in treating allergies for a skin test. This allergist will expose a small spot on your arm or back to a tiny sample of allergen. If you react, a small red bump will form. A blood test can also diagnose allergies.

    How Are Allergies Treated?

    Over-the-counter medications include:

    If over-the-counter remedies don’t help, your doctor may recommend a prescription medication:

    • Corticosteroid nasal sprays
    • Leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs)
    • Ipratropium bromide nasal spray (Atrovent)
    • Immunotherapy -- you’ll get tiny doses of allergens in the form of shots, tablets, or drops.

    To treat insect stings or bites:

    How to Make Allergy Season Easier

    Take some simple steps to avoid your triggers.

    • Stay inside when the pollen count and smog levels are high.
    • Keep your doors and windows closed. Run your air conditioner to keep allergens out. Use an air purifier.
    • Clean air filters in your home often. Also clean bookshelves, vents, and other places where pollen collects.
    • Wash bedding and rugs in hot water to get rid of dust mites and other allergens.
    • Wash your hair, shower, and change your clothes after you go outside.
    • Vacuum often and wear a mask. The process can kick up pollen, mold, and dust trapped in your carpet. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
    • Wear a mask when you mow your lawn to avoid grass pollen.
    • Keep the humidity in your house between 30% and 50% so dust mites won’t thrive.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Stanley M. Fineman, MD, MBA on October 17, 2014
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