Allergies

Allergies Articles

Nothing to sneeze at

Older adults can develop seasonal allergies—also known as hay fever, even if they never had them before. The best ways to help avoid allergy symptoms and manage their severity is to track the daily pollen count, use certain over-the-counter medication as needed, and potentially take allergy vaccines to build up resistance to specific allergens. More »

Choosing an over-the-counter allergy medication

There are two primary ways over-the-counter (OTC) medications help manage allergies. One is by blocking the effects of histamine with a medication called an antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or loratidine (Claritin). Another way is by suppressing the immune system response before it releases histamine. This is done with corticosteroid nasal sprays. OTC versions include budesonide (Rhinocort), fluticasone propionate (Flonase), and triamcinolone (Nasacort). A combination of an antihistamine and a corticosteroid nasal spray is often the most effective treatment. (Locked) More »

Common summer skin rashes

Several rashes can cause discomfort during the summer months. People often develop an itchy, oozing rash after brushing against certain plants, such as poison ivy. A rash of tiny bumps with a prickly sensation (known as prickly heat) can result from sweating while wearing tight clothing. Some people get an itchy rash as an allergic reaction to sun exposure. It helps to see a doctor if one has poison ivy or if a rash persists and interferes with sleeping, working, or relaxing. More »

Is poison ivy contagious?

A rash from poison ivy can’t be passed from one person to another, but plant oil remaining on clothing or other items can cause a reaction. (Locked) More »

Treatments for post-nasal drip

You thought it would never end:  that tickle in the back of your throat that made you cough or have to clear your throat.  It's been going on for months.  And now you know why:  post-nasal drip.  It's a common diagnosis.  It can happen for a number of reasons:  allergies, viral infections (including the common cold), sinus infections, irritants in the air (such as fumes or dust).  Less common causes include something stuck inside the nose (common in small children), pregnancy, and certain medications.  Temporary – and normal – causes of post-nasal drip includes certain weather conditions (especially cold, dry air) and spicy foods. Whatever the cause, the problem is a steady trickle of mucous from the back of the sinuses that irritates the throat and nagging cough or other symptoms. More »

Easy ways you can improve indoor air quality

Indoor air quality can suffer during the winter months. For women with a respiratory condition, such as asthma or allergies to mold, dust mites, and other irritants, this can lead to symptoms. Opening windows, using an air purifier, cleaning, and eliminating indoor plants can help reduce exposure. (Locked) More »

Is stress making your allergy symptoms worse?

Feeling stressed can affect allergies. One effect is psychological. Since stress amplifies the emotional reaction to any symptoms, it can also affect how bothered one feels about allergy symptoms. The other effect of stress on allergies is physical. Stress can make the allergic response worse. It’s unclear exactly why, but it may be because stress hormones can ramp up the already exaggerated immune system response to allergies. Therefore, stress reduction techniques, such as meditation, may help relieve allergy symptoms. More »