Allergic rhinitis cannot be cured, but there are several ways to manage and treat symptoms. Dr. Mansfield, what can you tell us about the management and treatment of allergic rhinitis?
Well, Dr. Green, the best way to control allergic rhinitis is to avoid the allergens that trigger symptoms.
For those with seasonal allergic rhinitis, this often means limiting exposure to outdoor allergens. Ways to limit outdoor exposure include:
- Stay indoors when pollen counts are at their peak and when wind is blowing pollens around.
- Avoid using window fans that can draw pollens and molds inside.
- Wear glasses or sunglasses outside to minimize the amount of pollen getting into the eyes.
- Wear a pollen mask when mowing the lawn, raking leaves, or gardening.
- Don't hang clothing outdoors to dry. (and)
- Avoid rubbing your eyes.
Most people with perennial allergic rhinitis also need to limit their exposure to indoor allergens. Ways to do this include:
- Keep windows closed, and use air conditioning in the car and home. Make sure to keep the air conditioning unit clean.
- Use HEPA filters to trap dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and pet dander.
- Reduce dust mite exposure by using mite-proof bedding, and wash bedding frequently using hot water.
- Keep humidity in the home low and clean the kitchen, bathrooms, and basement regularly to limit mold.
- Clean floors with a damp rag or mop, rather than dry-dusting or sweeping.
- Wash hands and clothes after touching or being around pets.
- Keep household pets out of the home as much as possible, and out of the bedroom when the pet must be inside.
- Replace carpeting with hardwood, tile, or linoleum. (and)
- In homes with forced-air or central heating or cooling, keep air ducts to the bedroom closed.
If symptoms can't be effectively managed by simply avoiding triggers, a provider may recommend or prescribe medications that treat symptoms.