If you can avoid or reduce your contact with allergens, you may be able to reduce your allergy symptoms and manage them without medicine or with fewer medicines. Controlling your contact with allergens and reducing your symptoms may also make it less likely you will develop complications such as sinusitis. You do this by:
- Controlling dust and dust mites. For example, dust regularly and wash bed linens in hot water.
- Controlling animal dander and other pet allergens. One way to do this is to restrict pets to certain areas of your home.
- Controlling indoor molds. Clean bathtubs and showers monthly.
- Avoiding outdoor pollens. This includes staying inside while pollen counts are high.
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If avoiding allergens doesn't help your symptoms or is not possible:
- You can treat a stuffy nose by cleaning your nasal passages with saline solution (salt water).
- You may be able to prevent or manage mild sinus infections by using a humidifier in your home, drinking plenty of liquids, and avoiding tobacco smoke.
- You may try taking over-the-counter allergy medicines to relieve symptoms.
It is helpful to track your symptoms and how they affect you. For example, do your symptoms keep you from sleeping, make it hard to concentrate, or make you sleepy? Also track your allergens and how long after exposure to them you start to have symptoms. This information will help your doctor prevent and treat the problem. You can keep a symptom diary(What is a PDF document?) to track this information.