To prevent problems with severe allergic
If you or your child has had a severe allergic
reaction, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for epinephrine. Learn how and when to give yourself an epinephrine shot, and have it
near you at all times.
you know you have an allergy to a medicine, be sure any new doctor knows about
your allergy before prescribing a medicine for you.
Ask your doctor if immunotherapy might help you. For this treatment, you get allergy shots or use pills that have a small amount of certain allergens in them. Your body "gets used to" the allergen, so you react less to it over time. This kind of treatment may help prevent or reduce some allergy symptoms.
Allergies: Should I Take Allergy Shots?
If you have had
a severe allergic reaction to an insect bite or sting,
avoid the insect that caused the reaction. Allergy
shots may help reduce the severity of your reactions to insects.
Allergies: Should I Take Shots for Insect Sting Allergies?
To prevent seasonal or year-round allergy reactions:
Control exposure to outdoor allergens. Limit the
time you spend outside during allergy season. This may be the best approach to
controlling your symptoms. If you have a seasonal allergy:
During the peak of the pollen or mold season,
consider taking your vacation in a place that has fewer of these
Exercise regularly. Exercise produces adrenaline, a
natural way to relieve a stuffy nose. But exercising outdoors may also
expose you to more pollen or mold spores.
Control exposure to indoor allergens. Newer,
energy-saving homes built with double- or triple-paned windows and more
allergens and heat indoors.
Use an air conditioner or air purifier with a
high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
Keep the house aired
out and dry. Keep the moisture level below 50%. Use a dehumidifier during humid
Dust and vacuum 1 to 2 times a week. Use a vacuum cleaner
with a HEPA filter, which collects dust-mite particles and pollen. Standard
paper bag filters may allow the stirred-up allergens to escape back into the
Avoid carpet, upholstered furniture, and heavy drapes that
collect dust. Vacuuming doesn't pick up dust mites. Remove rugs and
wall-to-wall carpeting. Talk with your family about this measure and how this
will affect family life. Replace drapes and blinds with roll-down shades or
Damp mop the floor once a day. Vacuum the walls,
ceiling, closet, and the backs of the furniture once a week to get rid of as
much dust as you can.
Use baking soda, mineral oil, club soda, or
vinegar to clean instead of using harsher cleaning solutions that can produce
Contact a pest control service, if necessary,
to get rid of cockroaches. Cockroaches and dead insects may provoke allergic
responses if you have allergic asthma.
Avoid tobacco smoke, smoke
from wood-burning stoves, and fumes from kerosene heaters.
registers closed if there is a pet in the house. This will reduce the amount of
animal dander circulating in the house, especially in
Repair any water-damaged areas from leaking roofs or
basements. These areas can be prime mold-growing areas.
Control exposure to animal dander (dead skin or scales from animals). Indoor pets can spread dander and other pet-related allergens such as urine and dried saliva throughout your home. Cats in particular spread dried saliva, but other small animals such as mice and gerbils can spread it too. Hair is often not the problem. Short-haired animals are no less of a problem than long-haired ones.
Keep the pet outside of the house or at least out
of the bedroom.
Bathe your pet once a week.
Ask a family member who does not have allergies to clean your pet's litter box.
Keep a caged pet, such as a gerbil, outside your home in a garage or shed.
Consider finding your pet a new home if your
symptoms are severe.
Be sure to tell your child's school staff about his
or her allergies. This is important so the school knows how to help your child
if he or she has an allergic reaction.
Breast-feeding may prevent allergies. Breast-feed your baby
for at least 6 months if possible to boost his or her immune system. Feeding
only breast milk during the first 6 months of life may reduce the chances that your
child will develop
food allergies or may decrease the severity of your
child's allergies. For more information, see the topic
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this