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How do you tell the difference between a cold and an allergy?

A cold goes away after about a week; nasal allergies might linger for several weeks. Colds and allergies both cause stuffy noses, but allergies also bring watery, itchy eyes. Colds are more likely to be accompanied by fever and body aches.

Should people with nasal allergies wear a mask outside during pollen season?

The only case where I advise patients to wear a mask is if they are cutting their own lawn, or doing yard work such as raking or blowing leaves. You’ll be exposed to a tremendous amount of pollen in the nose, in the eyes, and in the lungs. Wear goggles or safety glasses and a mask that covers your nose and their mouth.

America watched as the Obamas tried to find a hypoallergenic dog. Is this even possible?

All dogs are equal in terms of their potential to trigger allergic reactions. The allergen in the dog comes from the saliva and gets to the dander. The dog moves, the dander gets into the air, we inhale it and react to it. No matter what kind of dog it is. My personal opinion is that the size of the dog counts. The smaller the dog, less skin surface, less shedding that will occur. So the idea that some dogs are totally allergy free is not correct.

How do I live with pet allergies?

First, get evaluated by an allergist/immunologist to determine if you’re really allergic to the pet and how severe your allergies are. Often people blame the pet and it turns out they’re only mildly allergic to the dog or the cat, but severely allergic to dust mites and they have a very dusty environment. Second, keep the pet out of the bedroom and put a HEPA filter in. The bedroom is the place where we sleep, so we spend at least 50% of our time there.

What’s the best way to manage nasal allergies while traveling?

Be prepared for the worst. Know that the quality of air on a plane will not be good, that you may be sitting next to someone with strong perfume or hairspray. Some airlines allow passengers to bring pets in carriers, in the plane. If you have a strong allergy to cats or dogs, you can ask the airline not to be seated near that person when you make your reservation.

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