Avoid What's Ailin' You

Keep those inhalers handy to minimize allergies

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Avoid! Avoid! Avoid! This should be the motto during allergy season for those suffering. Does pollen bother you? Keep windows closed.

Dust mites getting to you? Clean your sheets. Dander doing you in? Don't sleep with dogs. Doctors at the Michigan Sinus Center are offering these tips and more to make breathing easier for allergy sufferers.

"Avoid allergies before they get you down and out."

Jeffrey Terrell, M.D., director of the Michigan Sinus Center and professor of otolaryngology at the University of Michigan Medical School agrees that allergy avoidance is key for people with allergies. It’s the first step, because avoiding the allergies leads to avoiding the symptoms.

Outdoor allergies but have to do the yard? Change clothes and shower immediately after doing yard work. Indoor allergens getting you down? Invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter.

Melissa Pynnonen, M.D., associate professor of otolaryngology at UM, suggests if you have chronic sinus stuffiness or discomfort, test for and treat underlying allergies. Treatment options include many medications and allergy shots. 

Non-prescription medicines include antihistamines like Zyrtec, Allegra and Claritin. If those don't work, other medications requiring a prescription such as nasal steroid sprays are also worth a try. 

Mark A Zacharek, M.D., associate professor of Otolaryngology at UM, chimes in with a simple, cheap and effective weapon against sinus problems: salt-water rinse.They come in two varieties: a neti pot, which looks and acts like a little watering can, and a plastic squeeze bottle, which introduces the water with more force. Zacharek notes that the rinse helps to clear nasal passages.

Terrell offers the following tip when using a steroid inhaler: Instead of tilting the bottle up your nose with a rubber hose, hold the bottle straight up and down and lean into it. This method makes sure  the medicine gets deep into the nose.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
May 4, 2011
Last Updated:
May 26, 2011