Understanding and managing allergy symptoms

(StatePoint)Anyone who dreads the coming of Spring knows allergies can lead to a major disruption in quality of life. Nearly 60 million Americans suffer from allergic rhinitis (also commonly known as hay fever), according to the American College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology.

Some 70 percent of allergy sufferers say they wish they had a better understanding of the science behind their allergies, according to a recent online survey osponsored by Sanofi Consumer Healthcare.

With that in mind, Sanofi is sharing some helpful information and tips for allergy sufferers to keep in mind this season.

• Know Your Triggers: Determine what allergens or “triggers” cause your symptoms, whether it’s pollen, pet dander, etc. While you may already have some idea of what triggers your symptoms, an allergist can give you a comprehensive check-up for a proper diagnosis.

• Avoid Exposure: If pollen is one of your triggers, check the pollen count before planning that picnic. If it’s your furry friend giving you grief, spend some time vacuuming your rugs and furniture. Once you know your triggers, take steps to avoid or minimize them whenever possible.

• Learn the Science behind Your Symptoms: When an allergy sufferer comes into contact with certain allergens, their body produces a variety of chemical responses that cause those symptoms that can make them feel miserable. To relieve allergy symptoms, it’s important to stop these chemical reactions from taking place.

• Visit the Allergy Aisle: Several prescription strength treatment options are available over-the-counter for the relief of allergy symptoms. Look for a nasal spray or a pill that provides 24-hour relief of nasal allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy runny nose and congestion.

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