Allergies Aren’t Funny to Sufferers or to the Rest of Us


allergiesSome may find allergy sufferers – who are constantly sniffling and sneezing-somewhat amusing. But according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), allergies are no laughing matter: researchers believe that there are some 50 million allergy sufferers in the U.S., and the cost to reduce nasal swelling alone is in the billions.

We all know the symptoms of nasal allergies – sneezing, a runny nose, a stuffy head, a dry cough, even fatigue. They occur, says the AAFA, when your immune system responds to an allergen – a substance that is usually inhaled. And while allergies can be controlled to a certain extent, there’s no cure.

Indoor and outdoor allergies affect your nasal passages and are triggered by tree and grass pollen, cat and dog dander, and mold spores. You may have one or several types of nasal allergies, and these may place you at an increased risk of more serious problems, such as sinusitis, which causes pain in the face or teeth, post-nasal drip, coughing, and even fever. Sinusitis can be sufficiently serious that over-the-counter remedies may not be sufficient, and a doctor’s visit is indicated.

You can reduce the impact of some allergens by keeping your home dust- and dander-free and, in moister climates, mold-free. For sinusitis, use humidifiers. Steam vapors can help reduce swollen sinus cavities. A warm towel applied to your face may reduce some pressure.

Indeed, allergies are no joke – to sufferers, or to the rest of us, who pay for allergy treatments through rising health care costs.