Management of allergic rhinitis
Find out more on how to treat your allergic rhinitis. This well-written article by Jack Rear who conducted an interview with me will tell you ' Everything you need to know about hay fever medication and treatment'.
I have also enclosed a video by the Mayo Clinic team which explains how to correctly use the nasal spray.
Dust mite allergy avoidance and treatment
Cigarette smoke makes all allergic conditions worse. It aggravates already inflamed skin and membranes in the nose, windpipe and lungs (the respiratory tract). Nobody should smoke in the home of a person who has an allergy. Babies exposed early on to allergens and smoke are more likely to develop allergic diseases.
Allergic symptoms to aero-allergens can develop over time. Therefore, once you have identified the problem, and taken steps to reduce the burden of allergens, it can take some time for symptoms to improve.
The best treatment is ultimately allergen avoidance. This needs to be rigorously and consistently followed in order to achieve symptom relief over a long period of time. However, this can be difficult and is not always possible or practical.
Treatment with nasal sprays, eye drops and/or antihistamine tablets will often ease or clear the symptoms. The treatment is the same as for any cause of allergic rhinitis or allergic conjunctivitis.
Avoiding the cause of the allergy
Treatment with medication often works so well that you may not have much motivation or need to avoid the cause of the allergy. However, some people may wish to try to avoid the cause of the allergy, particularly if the medication is not fully effective.
Preventing dust mites
If house dust mite is the cause of the allergy, it is impossible to keep your home permanently clear of the mites and their droppings. However, the following will help to reduce their number greatly, which may ease symptoms.
The main focus is on the bedroom:
Remove carpets and rugs (where possible) from the bedroom. Hard floors such as wood are preferable. Avoid soft furnishings in the bedroom.
Use dust-tight (mite-proof) covers for mattresses, duvets, and pillows. These can be left in place for several months. The usual covers and cases can be put on top of the special covers but should be washed every 1-2 weeks at 60°C. However, on their own, such covers are not likely to be effective.
Use feather rather than synthetic pillows (this is the opposite of what used to be thought).
Wet-dust the bedroom furniture every week.
Vacuum or clean the bedroom floor regularly. Use a vacuum cleaner with a good filter (this removes the mite and prevents small particles from coming out through the vacuum exhaust). Domestic steam carpet cleaners have no effect on house dust mite populations. Indeed, increasing the moisture content of the carpet can increase numbers. However, high-temperature professional steam cleaning can kill the mites and stop the droppings from causing allergic problems.
Regularly ventilate the bedroom (open the door and a window for a while on most days).
Keep soft toys to a minimum. Put them in the freezer, in a plastic bag, for 24 hours now and again. This kills any mites on them. If the toys are washable, wash them at 60°C after putting them in the freezer.
Try to keep moisture in the air (humidity) low (for example, do not dry washing on the radiators).
Let bedding air after use (that is, fold back duvet or blankets to allow sheets to air and sweat to evaporate).
Chemical treatments (acaricides) can be used to kill the mites. However, treatments are only recommended for carpets. There are certain drawbacks that include the time taken to apply the products properly, and their effectiveness. It is possible that carpets can be stained and that inhaling these products during application may be harmful.
Symptoms of house dust mite allergy may also improve when on holiday in warm dry climates where there are fewer mites.