Allergic rhinitis is a long-term problem. It takes time and effort to control allergies through home treatment. But home treatment is one of the best things you can do to help your allergies.
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:
- Reference Controlling dust and dust mites. For example, dust regularly and wash bed linens in hot water.
- Reference Controlling animal dander and other pet allergens. One way to do this is to restrict pets to certain areas of your home.
- Reference Controlling indoor molds. Clean bathtubs and showers monthly.
- Avoiding outdoor pollens. This includes staying inside while Reference pollen counts are high.
For more information, see:
- Reference Reference Allergies: Avoiding Indoor Triggers.
- Reference Reference Allergies: Avoiding Outdoor Triggers.
If avoiding allergens doesn't help your symptoms or is not possible:
- You may try taking Reference over-the-counter allergy medicines to relieve symptoms. These medicines include chlorpheniramine (such as Chlor-Trimeton), diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl), and loratadine (such as Claritin). Don't give antihistamines to your child unless you've checked with the doctor first.
- You can treat a stuffy nose by using Reference decongestants or Reference cleaning your nasal passages with saline solution (salt water). Before you give a decongestant to a child, check the label. These medicines may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems.
- 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.
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 Reference PDF Opens New Window document?) to track this information.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference May 30, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology