Having allergies indoors

Winning the Battle Against Indoor Allergies

Attempting to beat the heat by staying indoors this summer may mean battling a different discomfort – indoor allergies. Luckily by taking some precautions and measures, disruptive allergy symptoms can be avoided. Bayhealth otolaryngologist Stephen Cooper, MD, with Bayhealth ENT offers advice.

Allergy symptoms include sneezing, nasal stuffiness, itchy watery eyes, and sinus pressure headaches. Dr. Cooper says most indoor allergens are caused by pet dander or dust and dust mites. “The easiest thing is to avoid pets in the home,” he said. “If pets are kept inside, try to keep them out of the bedroom so the patient has a safe area.”

Dust allergies can make it difficult to breathe and may trigger asthma symptoms, such as wheezing, coughing, tightness in the chest, and shortness of breath.

Unlike seasonal allergies, indoor allergies may last all year long. The symptoms tend to be at their worst in the late summer, when dust mites are at their peaks. “It’s important to do a thorough job vacuuming and routinely clean curtains, couches and anything else that may collect dust,” Dr. Cooper advised. “If the person is allergic to dust mites, then pillow and mattress casements should be used.”

Dr. Cooper suggests using over-the-counter antihistamines such as Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, or Xyzal. Steroid nose sprays such as Flonase, Nasacort or Nasonex can be used in conjunction with the antihistamines to maximize improvement, but he said they must be used daily without interruption to see maximal benefit. Dr. Cooper recommends scheduling an appointment to form a treatment plan.

To find a Bayhealth physician to fit your needs, call 1-866-Bay-Docs to learn about providers in your area.