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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Let's face it -- allergy symptoms are no fun. It can be hard to enjoy life or feel good about yourself when your nose is running, your eyes are itching, and you can't stop sneezing. And you may feel depressed by the thought of giving up things you enjoy -- like hanging out with your pets or spending time in the garden -- just so your allergies don't flare. So maybe it's time to take stock and figure out how bad your allergies really are. You need the big picture in order to know what else you could be doing to keep your allergies under control and get back to doing the things you love to do.

What Kind of Allergies Are They?
To know if you're treating yourself correctly, you need to know what kind of allergies you have. Which statement best describes your symptoms?

A. My allergy symptoms come and go, depending on the time of year.
B. My allergy symptoms are present year-round.

If you answered A, you probably have seasonal allergic rhinitis. This is an allergy that occurs during a specific season or seasons, when the allergen you are sensitive to is most present in the air. You may only need treatment when your specific allergen is in your immediate environment.

If you answered B, you may have perennial allergic rhinitis. This means that your nasal allergy symptoms occur year-round and probably are the result of allergens that are always present, either in your home or outdoors.

How Bad Are They?
Next, you need to be realistic about your current situation. How much do your allergies affect your life? Ask yourself the following questions:
• Do my allergies make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep?
• Do I feel tired during the day because of my allergies?
• Do I sometimes avoid social situations or planned activities because of my allergies?
• Do I feel unwell or unhealthy, in general, because of my allergies?
• Are my allergy symptoms upsetting to me or making me feel unhappy?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider seeing your doctor to review your current allergy management program.

1 Comment:

  1. Jayaprakash said...
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