Take care of allergies before they get worse

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

This is a picture of an EpiPen, which is used for dangerous allergic reactions. The directions are right on the tube, so if you have one, be sure you’re familiar with them ahead of time!

When it comes to allergies, they can be a real pain to manage. Whether you suffer from wheezing, itchy throat, stuffy nose, or watery eyes, there are a few steps you can take to lessen their effects, or even prevent them altogether.

The first step is to take medicine before any real symptoms kick in. “These medications almost all work better to prevent allergy symptoms than they do to treat them, so people should not wait until they’re having symptoms to start taking their medicines,” said Dr. David Rosenstreich, the director of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

So, take medicine if you’re going to a friend’s house where there’s pets you’re allergic to, or put that inhaler to use when your breath comes up short.

Speaking of catching your breath, when it comes to exercise, it’s especially important to be aware of daily allergy cycles. According to Dr. Myngoc Nguyen, chief of allergy at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Northern California, physical activity should not be done in the morning or afternoon. When the sun rises, plants and trees begin to release pollen into the environment, and their levels peak around the afternoon. “I always suggest people run after work in the late afternoon or evening,” she says.

Now, if you’re at risk for serious allergic reactions, be sure your EpiPen – a medicine for emergency life-threatening reactions – is not expired. Also, know the correct steps to use the treatment before a serious reaction occurs. According to Rosenstreich, “You don’t want to start reading the label in the middle of an attack.”

There tips couldn’t be more important for your health, especially because this coming allergy season is going to be one of the worst ones ever.

Featured image courtesy of Vic on Flickr. Image of EpiPen courtesy of Greg Friese on Flickr.