Surprisingly, many individuals manage their seasonal allergies and/or asthma symptoms with medication without truly understanding what their specific allergy triggers are. According to Robert Reinhardt, M.D., the first step towards understanding and managing one's allergies is to create an "allergy profile" to determine the big picture of the entirety of one's allergic triggers, before determining a course of treatment. "Patients can spend a lot of money on products that are unnecessary if they don't know specifically which allergens to target," he says.
To do this, Reindhardt encourages patients to get an in-office allergy test via a blood sample or skin pricks. Once the patient determines his or her top triggers, one can determine which allergens can be controlled, and take steps to avoid these triggers. For example, while you can't always control your exposure to outdoor allergies such as tree pollen, you might be able to control indoor allergens, such as dust mites, with pillow covers. By making these small adjustments, patients can potentially reduce, if not completely eliminate, their symptoms with less medication — and the medication's unpleasant side effects. (HuffPost Healthy Living)
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