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Health Topic: Focus on Allergies


by Dr. Wilbur Kuo, MD
March 9, 2016


How is allergic rhinitis treated?
Part 1: Non-medication strategies

Reduce exposure to triggers
* Pollen
* Insects
- Dust mites
* Encase pillows, mattress, box springs, comforters, furniture with mite-impermeable covers
* Wash sheets and blankets weekly in warm water with detergent
* Dry on hot setting
* Minimize carpet, drapes, upholstery in bedroom
* Avoid sleeping on couch
- Cockroaches
* Remove garbage and waste promptly
* Clean dishes immediately after use
* Use multiple traps or poisons
* Remove cockroach debris quickly
* Eliminate standing water from leaking faucets/drains
- Lady bugs
* Animals: cats, dogs, mice
* Molds
- Reduce humidity: leaky pipes, standing water, bathroom carpeting, use bathroom fans
- Disinfect indoor garbage pails
- Discard old books, newspapers, clothing, water damaged carpets, wall boards
- Clean soap films with dilute bleach every month
* Vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter
* HEPA air filter
* N-95 mask when working outside
* Shower before bed to wash away allergens

Nasal irrigation and saline sprays
* Saline sprays are not as effective as nasal irrigation
* Can buy over-the-counter systems: Neti pots, syringes, or bottle sprayers
* Follow instructions to make a saline solution of sterile water and right amount of salt
* Then pour or spray up one nostril, and it comes out the other nostril
* Feels really weird first time you do it!
* But great for relieving sneezing, nasal dryness, and congestion
* Try to do it once or twice a day



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5963 Exchange Drive, Suite 112, Sykesville, MD 21784
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