Understanding Allergies -- Prevention

The word “allergies” might give you images of watery eyes, skin problems, sneezes, and swelling. Everyone wants to avoid getting the symptoms, but how can you do it?

The answer depends on what type of allergy you’re dealing with.

Respiratory Allergies

Take these steps if your condition affects your breathing:

Consider buying a large and quiet HEPA air cleaner for your bedroom to help remove airborne allergens.

Use an air conditioner in your home and car during warm seasons. That helps you keep pollen out. It also lowers indoor humidity, making your place less homey for molds, mites, and roaches.

If you have a water leak and can't fix it, you can:

  • Clean damp areas regularly with a diluted bleach solution to kill molds.
  • Run exhaust fans when you shower or cook.
  • Make sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outside.

If your pets give you symptoms, keep them out of your bedroom. Or keep them outside as much as you can -- as long as they have plenty of water, shade from the heat, and a warm shelter when it's cold. If those steps don't give you relief, you might want to talk with your family about the possibility of finding your pet a new home, as sad as that might be.

Food Allergies

If you have a true dairy allergy , try other non-dairy options, like tofu-based foods.

Always check food labels for additives that give you trouble. Some people are allergic to yellow food dye No. 5 (tartrazine), "natural" red dye (carmine), and gum arabic, for examples.

If you need to stop eating certain things, be sure to find other sources of nutrients. For example, if you can’t have dairy, choose other foods high in calcium, or take calcium supplements.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on May 03, 2018

Sources

SOURCES: 

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Allergy Overview."

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: "Allergies."

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network: "About Food Allergy." 

WebMD Medical Reference: "Allergies Health Center." 

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: "Allergy."

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.