Does it seem that no matter what you do to treat your allergies, nothing seems to be working? Perhaps instead of helping, you’re actually committing some of the following common treatment mistakes. So before you suffer another day, let’s take a look at some “fixes” you should be avoiding.
- Mistake: Treating symptoms, not underlying causes. While you may be able to eliminate some of your symptoms with specific treatments, unless you address what’s causing them, the fix is only temporary. For example, if you are taking a decongestant for a stuffy nose or an antihistamine for a runny one, you may be able to breathe a bit more freely, however the relief will last only as long as the dosage does. Also, if you have chronic allergies, but you’re taking medication for the common cold, you may only get a break from some of your symptoms.
Correct way: See an allergy specialist for a diagnosis and develop an individualized treatment plan.
- Mistake: Taking medications too late. As we discussed in “Allergy Myths: The Truth Is Out There,” many people won’t reach for the allergy medications until they feel sick. However, once the allergy is in full-swing, it can be difficult to relieve its symptoms.
Correct way: “Pre-treat” by taking the medicine before you are exposed to the allergen, thereby preventing, or at least lessening, the allergic reaction. Pre-treating often means taking the medication long-term and year-round.
- Mistake: Ignoring pollen count. If you ask the average person how the pollen count is measured, he or she may tell you that it is an estimated level based on how much pollen is seen in the air and on surfaces. Actually, pollen count is a real, scientific measurement of how much pollen and mold is saturating the air, and higher levels represent danger for allergy sufferers.
Correct way: Schedule your life around the pollen count.
- Mistake: Inviting pollen in. You probably think of dust being inside of your house, and pollen being outside. However, pollen will find its way into your home — and you may be responsible. First, opening windows lets the fresh air in, but it also lets the pollen in. Also, pollen can gather on shoes and clothing, which then can be tracked throughout your house. It can even settle into clothing that is hanging on an outside clothesline, so your freshly washed clothes may not be as clean as you thought.
Correct way: Constantly wash your clothes, dry them inside, and shower to remove the pollen from your skin. Always leave windows closed.
- Mistake: Misusing air purifiers or humidifiers. Both of these machines are great for improving the air quality in your home. However if you don’t keep up on the maintenance and clean the filters, you are only be recirculating the pollen and mold that was making you ill in the first place.
Correct way: Make sure you are always using distilled water, and clean your filters regularly.
It is said that doing things over and over in the same way, but expecting different results, is the definition of insanity. So why keep making the same mistakes over and over when treating your allergies? On the other hand, doing things the correct way can be quite time-consuming and inconvenient — and temporary.
The expert physicians at CT Sinus Center can help you break through this frustrating and expensive cycle to find permanent relief. First and foremost, we will take the time to sit down with you and discuss your symptoms and then use the most up-to-date diagnostic tools to find out exactly what’s causing them. Next, we’ll develop a personalized treatment plan designed to get you on the path to symptom-free living in no time. You may be an ideal candidate for Balloon Sinus Dilation, a non-invasive, in-house procedure in which a small balloon is inflated in the nasal cavity, opening passages and relieving your allery symptoms forever.