12 Tricks to Control Allergy Symptoms

Allergies can be more than simply annoying; at times, they can be almost debilitating. There are few things more frustrating that trying to get through your day with constant sniffling, sneezing, itchy eyes, and sinus pressure.

Until medical science finds a cure for allergies, we push through, doing what we can to control those symptoms. Fortunately, there are some tricks you may be able to use that may help you get them under control and reduce that cruddy feeling:

Know what triggers your allergies. This really is the place to start. If you don’t know why you’re having a reaction, you can’t hope to control the symptoms. Many people assume they’re allergic to pollen, for example, but it might be dust mites, mold, pet dander, or some other cause. Talk to an allergist about getting tested so you know what will trigger those symptoms.

Be aware of the pollen count. If you are allergic to pollen, know when it’s going to be highest. The days with the highest pollen count tend to be very dry and windy. Pollen travels the widest distances during the mid-day, so you can control your symptoms by planning your outdoor activities either in the early morning or at sunset. You can usually get the pollen count from your local TV or newspaper, or online.

Keep your doors and windows closed. At least, do this on days when pollen levels are high. Consider using your air conditioner to circulate the cool air inside, and make sure you’re regularly replacing that filter.

Clean your house. All of those allergens settle into your home. Make sure you’re regularly vacuuming your floors as well as your furniture. This is especially important when it comes to seating, such as couches and chairs. You can use a microfiber cloth to get rid of dust and other allergens on your bookshelves, entertainment center, blinds, and other dust-collecting surfaces.

Consider hardwood floors. Carpets are breeding ground for dust mites, and receptacles for gigantic amounts of pet dander. Hardwood floors are, arguably, easier to clean, and won’t hold the allergens the way that carpet does.

Rinse off those allergens. On high-pollen days, you’re likely to collect the stuff on your clothes and in your hair. Change clothes when you get home, and wash out your hair.

Consider a regular antihistamine. Your doctor might suggest that you use an antihistamine on a regular basis. This kind of medication goes to work on the histamine receptors in your body. That means the histamines – the stuff that causes an allergy symptom – isn’t released. You’ll probably need to take these daily during allergy season. While some antihistamines tend to cause drowsiness, there are now a number of prescription and non-prescription versions that don’t.

Look into decongestants for short term use. Here again, you’ll need to talk to your doctor, of course. A decongestant can help to decrease nasal congestion, as that’s one of the most common allergy symptoms. Using decongestants more than a few days may irritate your symptoms, so make sure you’re talking with your doctor.

Try out allergy eye drops. There are eye drops on the market that have decongestants, some that have antihistamines, and others that act as anti-inflammatories. The eye drops can help to relive itching and swelling of the eyes, in particular.

Filter your home’s air. A whole-house HEPA filter will greatly reduce the airborne allergens and dust that you simply can’t get by cleaning the surfaces in your home. Some of these products claim to remove as much as 99.98% of allergens from the air.

Lower the humidity. Dust mites need a humid environment to live. You can either run a dehumidifier, or you can do like some sever allergy sufferers have done and move to a drier place like Arizona.

Talk to your doctor. There are always new medications and techniques coming out that can help control your allergy symptoms. Talk to your allergist about what kinds of options are out there, and what kinds of treatments may be most appropriate for your needs.

Just because you have allergies doesn’t mean you have to suffer miserably through allergy season. Try out some of these techniques, and see which help with your allergies. They won’t all help everyone, but there’s a good chance that something in that list will give you some relief.

How to Manage Sleep Apnea

Does your partner complain of loud or chronic snoring? Do you wake up gasping for breath? Or perhaps you suffer from extreme fatigue, irritability and poor concentration through the day. If so you could be one of the millions who suffer from sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea affects breathing when you’re sleeping and leads to very shallow or short lapses in breath. This can typically last 10 to 20 seconds and occur hundreds of times a night leading to interrupted sleep and preventing you from getting the deep restorative sleep your body needs. If you are obese, over the age of 65 and a smoker you are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Treatment is diverse and ranges from medical treatment such as breathing devices, using supplemental oxygen, medication and even surgery to natural cures for sleep apnea that involve changing your lifestyle or giving up unhealthy habits.

Sometimes there is an underlying medical condition causing the apnea, such as a neuromuscular or heart disorder. It is important to have a checkup with your doctor before undergoing any costly medical treatment.

There may be many factors contributing to your sleep apnea. Without hard data it’s all speculation. This is where sleep tracking technology comes in.

Sleep Monitoring Technology

Monitoring your sleep using sleep monitoring products like Zeo and Fitbit can help pinpoint exactly what is leading to restless nights. It can help you reduce; even eliminate sleep apnea in some cases. For some it may be reducing their weight, for others it may involve giving up smoking or simply sleeping on one’s side.

While I do not suffer from apnea myself I can speak from experience. I used to work nights and sleep through the day. Just by reducing the amount of light in my room using black-out blinds I was able to sleep more deeply and wake up feeling more refreshed. Making small changes to your environment can make a significant difference to how well you sleep so it is important to know what these factors are.

Sleep monitoring devices also track sleep changes and can tell you how long you slept, when you slept and when you woke from sleep. These devices are becoming increasingly more accurate and offer a great way to manage sleep apnea by discovering the cause and symptoms. While at one time sleep tracking technology was only available to medical practitioners, this technology is now available to the consumer.

Zeo is probably one of the most sophisticated as it can track brainwaves and tell you how long you’re in REM sleep or deep sleep. It can be used in conjunction with online tools and journals so you can monitor your sleep over a period of time and pin point any habits contributing to your sleep apnea.

Fitbit and Sleep Cycle work a lot differently to Zeo in that they monitor motion instead of brain activity. They provide you with very different information but all have the stated goal of improving sleep.

Sleep monitoring technology can help you diagnose and treat sleep apnea and they are also useful for those suffering from other sleep related disorders. By pin pointing the cause of sleepless nights and making the necessary lifestyle changes you can manage or eliminate those sleepless nights for good.