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Ears Nose and Throat 2019

Talking allergies and self-managing them

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Catriona Williams

Director, talkhealth Partnership

Allergies affect more than one in four people in the UK. In most cases, common allergies can be treated and kept under control to help you get on with your day as normal. These include allergies such as hay fever, food and dust mites.

With these types of allergies, you may experience symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, a red rash and itchy, watery eyes.

In the first instance, it’s really important to see your GP if you suspect you or your child has an allergy, as they can help distinguish the difference between an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance and offer the right advice to help you manage the condition.

Once you’ve established what allergy you suffer with, your doctor will recommend appropriate medication and treatment, but there are a few lifestyle changes you can make to help you manage allergies.

Tackling allergies in the home

Home remedies include frequently washing your bedding, throws, toys and any fabrics around the home to reduce dust mites or pollen. It also helps to hoover regularly and replace any carpets and rugs with hardwood flooring where possible. A relaxing, warm shower before bed will also ensure you’ve washed out any potential pollen and prevent allergy-related symptoms like irritated eyes.

Fixing any leaks and reducing moisture in damp-prone areas using dehumidifiers can also help reduce symptoms flaring up while you’re at home. If you have any food allergies, then taking extra caution when eating out and checking food labels is an absolute must.

I also highly recommend simply talking about your condition with other people. Discuss your symptoms with colleagues, friends and family, and you may be surprised to discover that your allergy is more common than you thought.

Starting a conversation about your allergy also helps create awareness and educate others about your allergies. You may even learn how to manage your allergies from others in a way you hadn’t previously discovered.

More information

For more information and additional allergy guidance and support, please visit our talkallergy hub and explore our talkallergy forum to discuss any allergy-related topics

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