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Food Allergies and Food Allergy Symptoms

Food Allergies and Food Allergy Symptoms

FOOD ALLERGIES

Most of us suffer from some type of allergy symptom.Among others, food allergies can be most troublesome because most of the time you’ll know you have food allergy when you have a reaction to certain food.There are various types of reactions and they need to be treated right away even if the symptom is mild.My son has food allergies.He’s allergic to milk, cheese and peanuts.We found out he has these allergies because he had an allergic reaction right after having these food items. Apparently the foods that he’s allergic to are included in top 10 most common dietary allergens.

Top 10 Most Common Food Allergen Substances

Eggs
Dairy
Peanuts
Tree nuts
Gluten / Wheat
Soy
Fish
Shellfish
Sulfites
Sesame

Symptoms

Food allergy symptoms occur within a few minutes to an hour after eating allergen foods.Food allergies can have mild reactions such as stomach upset or minor skin irritation but also can have severe reaction that can lead to life threatening reactions.If not treated properly even with a mild reaction, allergies can be more serious with repeated.If at all possible avoid the allergen.

Most common reactions are:
Mouth Tingling
Itching (Eczema) or Hives
Lip, face, tongue and throat swelling.(Can swell in other parts of the body)
Wheezing, nasal congestion or breathing problem
Coughing
Stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
Dizziness, fainting, or lightheadedness

More serious reactions such as anaphylactic shock which is life-threatening
Constriction and tightening of airways
Swollen throat or a lump in your throat that makes it difficult to breathe
Shock
Blood pressure dropping rapidly and severly
Rapid pulse
Loss of consciousness
Untreated anaphylaxis can lead to coma or even death
Above symptoms require emergency treatment

Treatment

Most food allergies can be treated in many of the same ways as other allergic reactions by over the counter antihistamines.Antihistamines reduce reactions pretty fast.

Immunotherapy is another way to treat and reduce severity of food allergens.Seek counsels of allergist or immunologist for specific information regarding immunotherapy.

But if you are not aware of your allergens seek professional health provider.It’s good idea to see the doctor right after having an allergic reaction from eating certain food so they can better diagnose your symptoms.Also seek advice from allergist or immunologist about your food allergies.

Allergies can change over time lot of times due to your immune system levels.As time passes by you can lose some allergies and gain others.Be aware of how your body reacts to certain food and be health conscious to help avoid adding to your allergies.

Food Allergies

It is very important to know the difference between food intolerance’sss and food allergy. The symptoms can be very much alike and hard to tell the difference between the two conditions. The food intolerance’s will allow you to ingest a small amount of the food where as the food allergy will not tolerate any amount of the food with out a allergic reaction.

Food Allergy Diet  Finding Food Allergies

Once a food has been determined to cause a food intolerance or worse a food allergy reaction, it is very important to learn how to avoid this food trigger. While the food intolerance will allow the body to ingest a small amount of the food, a true food allergy will not permit the body to ingest any of that food, no matter how small without the reaction. There are a few different food allergy testing to be done such as the skin or blood tests. To help determine what triggers your food allergy symptoms, it is helpful to keep a food diary for a few weeks. Noting what triggers and what symptoms occur, the physician may ask that you try the elimination diet. This would remove a suspected food for a short time and then re-enter it into the diet to determine the reaction if any. This test can be affected by outside sources is not approved by all physicians.

Once the triggers are determined by your physician, through skin testing or even a blood test, the health provider can provide you with a written plan to help you to study, remember and plan while making the proper choices to avoid the trigger foods. The cookbooks that are very specific to your particular food allergies can help by showing how to cook allergy free foods with out the triggers. They can also be a great source to offer different substitutes to help you to have a better diversified diet while offering different food choices. For example, if your food allergies are from the more common fruits or vegetables, you could find suggestions for the more exotic fruits and vegetables with different ways to prepare and serve them.

Learning how to read the food container labels is important to everyone. But if you are a person with an allergy to milk you will need to learn that the ingredients of casein, sodium casein, nougat and lactoglobulin are alternate names for milk products that you may need to avoid. The same is true for the alternate names of egg whites and albumin for eggs. Learn the alternate names for your food allergies. If you are not sure even after reading the label, try calling the manufacture. It is now up to you not to place your self in danger.

Another way to help protect yourself is to let your loved ones and friends know what foods you have the allergic reactions to. They need to know what foods and what reactions to look out for. Also let them know what to do to help you if a reaction occurs. They need to know what medication and how to use the medication, if it is just antihistamines or the injections with the EpiPens or the Twinject. Consider the medical alert bracelets. Also the Food Allergy Initiative suggest a card with your triggers to give out in the restaurants. It is a good idea to give to either the server, manager or the chef.

Food Addiction, Food Craving, Chemical Cause of Overeating and Food Allergy, Allergies Treatment

It has always been accepted that being overweight or obese is due to genetics, overeating, poor willpower or lack of exercise but another possibility is now believed to be food addiction. Food found in supermarkets today comes in endless varieties loaded with chemicals and addictive fat, salt and sugar, manufactured by money driven food companies, whose goal isn’t to make you trim and healthy, but to get you hooked on their product. Advertisements for these unhealthy, addictive, habit forming foods are designed to appeal to the emotional eater.

When health issues and obesity appear, many people become deperate and begin a vicious cycle of crash diets and food binges. The cycle never stops because dieting leads the emotional eater to more overeating. Will power, which seems to be more than sufficient to overcome in other areas of life, is ineffective when it comes to food. Slowly self esteem begins to erode, as the victim spirals downward into the pit of addiction from which there seems to be no escape. Any attempt to improve one’s diet is met with even stronger cravings for health destroying foods. Trying to avoid food only increases the obsession.

Other possible causes of overeating are food allergies, hormonal and neurochemical imbalances. Research has found that people who are allergic to a particular food may feel more hungry after eating it. If they resist eating the food, they experiencing uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Certain foods and beverages may be responsible for imbalances in the body causing food cravings and should be avoided.

Emotional Eating

When life is met with disappointment, loneliness, anger, frustration,stress and boredom, food can be an escape or a distraction. Pleasure eating shifts the attention. The victim has a way to take control of their undesirable mood and circumstances and influence their mood positively by eliminate negative, uncomfortable feelings. Life has improved for the moment, but behind the scenes addiction is growing and food becomes a controlling force in life.

Warnings of the dangers of overeating, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and unattractive, overweight bodies cause great concern, but are not enough to prevent the overeating of unhealthy foods. Instead, diet pills, shakes, exercise, stimulants, hypnosis, electric muscle stimulation, vibration machines, plastic wraps, liposuction and weight loss drugs are used but only temporarily remedy the problem.

Food Allergies, Hormone and Neurochemical imbalances

Over time, eating the same foods too often can cause sensitivity to the food leading to allergic reaction from the food. The body releases histamine and other chemicals which cause a number of side effects including mood swings, headaches, migraines, asthma, skin rashes and heart palpitations. The symptoms usually occur only moments after eating the food. Continually eating foods that cause allergies deplete the body’s immune system and nutrients rendering it incapable of fighting bugs and viruses when they attack. The result being frequent flues, colds and other infections.

Food allergies can cause hormonal imbalance which may cause a deficiency in serotonin levels. This can trigger cravings for unhealthy foods to compensate for the deficiency. Instead, take the healthy approach: Identify the allergy food and elliminate it. Prime suspects are milk and rye, oat and wheat glutens. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, cigarette, anphetamines, get plenty of rest and exercise. Nutrients that may be beneficial are ginkgo biloba, Vitamin B6 and St. John’s wort.

How to Combat Food Cravings

Drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day. Many times feeling hungry is really a sign that we need water, avoid situations that will trigger cravings. When you have a craving for an unhealthy food like ice cream, replace it with with frozen yogurt. Replace wheat with spelt or kamut. When cravings come, try to discern what your body needs. For example, if you crave salty snacks, substitute them with food sprinkled with a healthy form of salt, such as sea salt. Distract yourself with heathy activities such as exercise. Rid yourself of obvious sources of temptation. The next time you are at the supermarket decide not to put those doughnuts in your shopping cart. Gargle with an unsweetened mouthwash. A big part of food addiction is in the taste and food won’t taste so good afterwards something bitter. Avoid foods with artificial preservatives and colors.

Emotional eating, food allergies or hormonal imbalances may lead to food addiction. Food addiction may be impossible to overcome without taking the appropriate steps to overcome it. Isolating the source of addiction is half the battle. Making minor changes in diet and implementing strategies to deal with cravings will lead to freedom from food addiction and all the heath issues that go with it.

Fall Allergies in Montana

Montana, famous for its tall mountains and plentiful clear rivers, may seem like an allergy-free region. However, no region in the United States is exempt from hosting certain allergens.

Types of allergens, especially pollen, differ during certain times of the year. During the fall, Montana residents and visitors who are sensitive to certain types of pollen may experience an array of symptoms. Allergies are treatable once you have identified what you are sensitive to.

Causes

Fall allergies in Montana primarily consist of grass and weed pollen. Weeds pollinate through October, while grasses pollinate through November. When released into the air, pollen is carried and distributed by the fall’s windy conditions. The website Distinctly Montana reports that air pollution is another leading cause of allergies. Air pollution is a combination of gasses from automobiles, controlled wood burnings and forest fires.

Types

Grasses and weeds pollinate in the spring time, but continue to release pollen well into the fall months. According to Allergy Escape, grasses indigenous to Montana include Bermuda, Timothy, orchard, wild oat, rye, Johnson, red top, brome and meadow fescue. Weed allergies in Montana are attributed to ragweed, tumbleweed, pigweed, yellow dock, sagebrush, English plantain, careless weed, kochia, scales, cocklebur, marsh elder and lambsquarter.

Symptoms

A pollen allergy is also referred to as hay fever.

Symptoms of a hay fever include sneezing, sinus headache, post nasal drip, dark under-eye circles, itchy eyes, conjunctivitis, itchy throat and fatigue. Severe hay fever can contribute to allergic asthma. Allergic asthma occurs when certain allergens aggravate the linings of your lungs, causing the bronchial tubes to inflame and constrict. In such a case, you may wheeze and experience shortness of breath as well as coughing.

Prevention/Solution

Preventing your exposure to allergens during the fall in Montana can ease your symptoms. Stay indoors as often as possible, especially while exercising. Allergy Escape recommends that you especially do not venture outdoors between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 am. Although the fall Montana air may seem cool and inviting, avoid the temptation to open your windows. Once you expose your home to the open air, you will inadvertently invite pollen spores and air pollutants inside. Also dry your clothing indoors and shower regularly in order to rid your body of allergens. If you plan on visiting Montana during the autumn months, ask your doctor if you need to take any medications with you.

Medications

Medications are a viable solution if preventive measures do not ease your allergy symptoms. Over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Zyrtec, help your body block histamine release, thereby reducing symptoms in the first place. Such medications are taken daily, or on an as-needed basis, as long as your doctor consents. Decongestants relieve nasal and sinus congestion. If over-the-counter medications do not help, see your doctor for a prescription. If you do not respond to daily medications, allergy shots are another solution for symptom relief. According to Allergy Escape, allergy shots help you build a tolerance to certain allergens, thereby reducing the need for medications in the future.

Fall Allergies in Boston

Fall in Boston is beautiful: mild, comfortable temperatures combine with picturesque scenery. For those with allergies, Boston can be unpleasant; it ranks 91 among the top 100 worst cities for fall allergies, according to WebMD. Be prepared for the hidden allergens in Boston’s autumn landscape.

The Cause

Two main triggers are at play in the fall in Boston: ragweed pollen and mold. During the fall, male ragweed plants release pollen into the air, triggering allergic reactions. Increased dampness and decaying leaves and plant life encourage the growth of mold spores as well. When the pollen and mold spores interact with the human body, an allergy sufferer’s immune system “mistakenly sees them as foreign invaders and releases antibodies—substances that normally identify and go after bacteria, viruses and other illness-causing organisms,” according to WebMD.

The Symptoms

Allergies often present as nasal congestion, sniffling, wheezing, and itchy and watery eyes. They differ from a cold in that they will never cause a fever or vomiting. However, a rash and hives may appear on the skin. Allergy symptoms will last as long as the allergen is present, so a sufferer could face an entire autumn of discomfort without treatment. If symptoms are fleeting (only in one room or during a certain activity) or constant for weeks, they are most likely signs of allergies

The Treatment

The trouble with the fall season, particularly in Boston, is that much time is spent indoors, where allergens can become trapped. Outdoor factors like pollen and mold can attack allergy sufferers both outdoors and at home. Some slight lifestyle changes may be in order to get relief. Nasal sprays, antihistamines, decongestants or allergy shots may help to control the body’s reaction and curb your symptoms, but controlling exposure is the first step.

Indoor Prevention

To prevent excess pollen and mold within the home, close all windows and keep window sills clean. WebMD’s experts suggest filtrating the air with a high efficiency particulate air filter to remove pollen, mold, dust and other allergens from the air. Reduce mold production by keeping the humidity level in the home to 40 percent or lower and by cleaning all damp areas of the home, like kitchens and bathrooms, with bleach-containing agents. Always clean the heating filters before running the heat system, since mold spores, dust and pollen might accumulate there.

Outdoor Prevention

Outside the home, it may be more difficult to make significant changes, especially since fall in Boston can be very rainy and damp. In the yard and surrounding areas, take steps to reduce exposure to mold and pollen. Remove piles of damp leaves and yard waste, and do not keep a compost heap nearby, since these are mold-breeding grounds. Wear a mask to avoid inhaling allergens while working outdoors, and follow up with a shower to remove all allergens from the hair and skin. Always remove shoes and jackets when entering the home so that pollen and mold spores will not be spread throughout.

Facts About Pet Allergies

It is the last day of work and you and your friends are planning to have a simple get together dinner and movies in your place to welcome your new officemate. You have made plans already and everything has been set. Now all you are doing is wait for your guests to arrive. Then you heard the doorbell ring and you got up and opened the door. Your friends greeted you warmly and handed their gifts to you. Suddenly, your new officemate started sneezing. You asked if she has colds to which she replied, no and that she is okay. After a few minutes, she started sneezing again and this time, the interval between sneezes is very short. She apologized and asked if you have a cat because she is allergic to cats but she does not see a cat there. You told her that you have but your kitty is in the room. She apologized profusely and said she had to go. You were not able to do anything because you did not know she has allergy. You even felt sorry because it was supposed to be her party and yet, she was not able to enjoy it.

Pet allergies are common, especially to people with asthma. We always associate pet fur with our allergies. What else could be causing those sneezing fits if not for the pesky pet fur? But research says that it is not the fur that us causing those allergies. Surprised? Yes, it is not the animal’s fur that causes it but the proteins found in their saliva. We associate it with the fur since these proteins stick to the fur when the animals lick themselves. That is why most people are said to be allergic to cats. Cats always lick themselves and are held more. They spend so much time being close to humans and are always inside the house.

Another source of allergen is the pets’ urine. The urine also has allergy-causing proteins. When the urine dries, these allergens float in the air and can be inhaled by anyone in the place. With the increasing popularity of guinea pigs, gerbils, mice and rats as household pets, they can also cause allergic reactions to humans. And the main source of allergens is their urine.

It takes about two years or more for pet allergies to develop and about 6 months or more for it to decrease after ending contact with the pet. The best places for allergens to stay are carpets and furniture. They can remain in those places for about 4 to 6 weeks, plus the allergens can stay in the household air for a month even after the pet has been removed.

Now, we can put take the blame off the pet’s fur from being the thing that causes pet allergies. It great to have pets but if you really are suffering from pet allergies, then it is better to choose a safe kind of pet such as a fish. This way you will not suffer from allergens due to saliva proteins as well as urine proteins.

Eye Allergies in Dogs

Ocular discharge from your dog’s eyes is a symptom of allergies. There are also eye infections your dog can contract that are related to allergies. If you notice anything unusual about your dog’s eyes, make an appointment with a veterinarian right away. Most veterinarians prioritize calls about eyes because what you assume might be harmless allergies could be an infection or a disease like glaucoma.

Inhalant Allergies

Your dog’s eye symptoms are most likely caused by allergies. The most common form of dog allergy is the inhalant type. Dogs can be allergic to the same allergens that affect people, including tree, grass, and weed pollens, as well as molds, mildew, and dust mites. Most of the pollen allergies occur seasonally, but mold, mildew and dust mites are present year-round.

Food Allergies

The second most prevalent allergy for dogs is food allergies. Dogs develop food allergies within their first year or after they turn 5. Test for food allergies by feeding your dog a special diet for at least eight to 12 weeks. Your vet will advise you. Remember, if the diet is not followed to the letter it will render the results meaningless.

Treatment

If your veterinarian has diagnosed your dog with allergies you have several treatment options depending on the allergy. Air purifiers are very helpful for dogs with inhalant allergies as is altering your dog’s the diet, especially if your dog has a food allergy.

You can give your dog over-the-counter antihistamines. According to the Nelson Animal Hospital, Benadryl is used most commonly. Give your dog 1 mg per pound of body weight two or three times a day, but only after consulting your veterinarian. It takes about 14 days before the drug will have an effect.

Follicular Conjunctivitis

If your dog is squinting and has red itchy eyes that produce a watery discharge he might have follicular conjunctivitis, which is usually related to allergies. Allergy-related conjunctivitis in dogs is common and the majority of cases are associated with inhalant allergies. Symptoms of conjunctivitis are usually in both eyes but you should also look out for other symptoms like coughing, sneezing, nasal discharge, lethargy, fever and decreased appetite.

Warning

Even if you think that your dog is exhibiting all the symptoms of an allergy or even follicular conjunctivitis don’t assume you know what’s wrong or how to treat it. Glaucoma is the most common eye condition that fools dog owners into delaying an eye exam. If your dog has glaucoma delaying a veterinarian appointment for even a day or two can result in permanent blindness. Glaucoma exhibits almost the exact same symptoms as conjunctivitis, so if your dog’s eyes are exhibiting any unusual symptoms call your veterinarian immediately.

Dust Mite Allergies in Dogs

Like all allergies, dust mite allergies take some time to develop in dogs, with the first symptoms not surfacing until an animal has been exposed repeatedly to the mites. Your dog’s dust mite allergy is triggered by his inhaling dust mites, but its symptoms might look to you as if he has a flea allergy.
A dust mite allergy surfaces as atopic dermatitis, causing your pet to bite, chew and scratch. Her paws, ears, groin, muzzle and armpits are especially vulnerable.

Prevention

The University of Nebraska at Lincoln’s Extension Service says allergy prevention begins by making your home inhospitable to dust mites. Keep its temperature below 75 F and humidity below 70 percent.
At less than 60-percent humidity dust mite colonies become dehydrated. Track your home’s humidity, says the EPA, with a hygrometer from a hardware store.

Dust Mite Removal

To protect your dog, remove both living and dead mites. UNL offers these suggestions:
Replace carpeting with tile, wood, stone, or vinyl floors in the rooms where your dog spends the most time. Use washable blinds instead of draperies, cleaning them frequently. Look for dust catchers like silk flower arrangements, house plants and decorative pillows, and include them in your regular cleaning routine.
Spray all soft furniture, drapes and carpets you can’t remove with commercial dust mite spray. Steam clean them once a year, preferably in the spring. Wash your pet’s bedding and soft toys with anti-allergen detergent warm (77 F) water.
Clean hard furniture with a damp cloth. You’ll be removing dust, not just stirring it up to settle elsewhere. Use a vacuum with an HEPA filter. Careful weekly vacuuming is more effective than quick daily vacuuming.

Conventional

Treat your dog ‘s symptoms while ridding your home of dust mites. Giving your dog an over-the-counter antihistamine may ease his symptoms. Ask your vet about the right dosage for your pet.
For intolerable itching, your vet may prescribe a course of inflammation-reducing corticosteroids like prednisone or cortisone. Use them for as short a time as possible. Long-term use can compromise your dog’s immune system..
Apply a steroid cream or spray with hydrocortisone or triamcinolone to the affected areas of your pet’s skin.
Your vet may prescribe the immunosupressant cyclosporin to regulate your dog’s reaction to the mites, enabling you to cut back on his steroid dosage. It will also, however, reduce his immune system response to other diseases. Give it in the lowest possible amount.
Allergy shots–or immunotherapy–are a safer alternative, but can take up to a year to make any improvement in your pet’s condition. They are a safer long-term treatment than corticosteroids.

Bathing Your Pet

Her allergy may dry your pet’s skin. Bathe her in cool water with hypoallergenic shampoo followed by a hypoallergenic moisturizer to limit unnecessary itching.

Nutritional Supplement

The Long Green Animal Dermatology Center recommends adding fatty acids in the form of fish oil to your pet’s diet as a possible way of enhancing the effects of antihistamines.

Duck Egg Allergies

Duck egg allergies are a very common type of food allergy. Usually, a person who is allergic to duck eggs is allergic to all types of eggs. Food allergies themselves are rather rare, impacting only two percent of adults.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a duck egg allergy include wheezing, coughing, rashes, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and a runny nose. These symptoms can occur within minutes of eating an egg and up to a few hours later.

Causes

An allergy to duck eggs is caused by the immune system’s reaction to eggs when ingested.

Other Foods

Some other food items that can include duck eggs or egg derivatives include baby food, noodles, soups, breaded or fried foods, sauces, salad dressings, beverages, baked goods and desserts. These foods may also cause an allergic reaction.

Treatment

Though an allergic reaction to duck eggs cannot be prevented if an egg product is ingested, the symptoms of an allergic reaction can be reduced and shortened by using antihistamines, epinephrine injections and bronchodilators to relieve respiratory symptoms, and corticosteroids to relieve inflammation.

Children

Food allergies in general, including duck egg allergies, are more common in children. Many children outgrow these allergies by the age of 5 or 6 as their immune systems develop.

Differences Between Allergies and Sinus Infection

Many people confuse seasonal allergies with sinus infections. The symptoms are similar–stuffy, painful nose and sinus cavities, often with sneezing, coughing and other cold symptoms. However there are some important differences between allergies and sinus infections that need to be addressed for proper prevention and treatment.

Allergies

Allergies are the body’s reaction to allergens in the surrounding environment. These allergens may include dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander and food. People may be allergic to one or more of these items, so determining the cause of an allergic reaction can be difficult.

When someone is exposed to an allergen to which he is sensitive, his body produces histamines, a chemical that causes the lining of the nose, sinuses and the eyes to become inflamed. These linings produce a fluid in an attempt to fight off the allergen. When this happens, the person begins sneezing and wheezing. His eyes may start watering and itching. These symptoms last as long as the person is exposed to the allergen.

Sinus Infection

Because sinus infections most often are the result of the common cold, its symptoms are very similar to allergic rhinitis. The mucous membranes lining the nose become inflamed by a virus or bacteria. Eventually the mucous membranes in the frontal and maxillary sinuses (forehead and cheekbones) also become inflamed, creating a greenish discharge. When the nose and sinus cavities become filled with the discharge, pressure builds and the person feels may feel pain right behind the eyebrows or in the cheeks. Her nose will become stuffy. Other symptoms include drainage down the back of the throat, sneezing, coughing, swelling in the face, tiredness and fever. These symptoms may last for several weeks if untreated.

Treatment

Allergies can be treated with a variety of over-the-counter medicines:

Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (brand-name Benadryl), loratadine (Claratin) or Cetirizine (Zyrtec) block the production of histamines.

Decongestants reduce blood flow to the affected area, creating more room to clear the congestion. Common types of oral decongestants are phenyloephrine and pseudoephedrine (brand-name Sudafed). Common nasal decongestants (nasal sprays) include oxymatazoline (Afrin) and phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine)

Sinus infection symptoms can be relieved with over-the-counter decongestants. They can also be relieved by gently blowing the nose. Inhaling steam (e.g., in a hot shower or over a hot mug of coffee) or a saline nasal spray can also bring relief. However, it is likely that an antibiotic will be needed to cure the infection.

Prevention

Allergy suffers should consult an allergist to determine which allergens affect them and, of course, avoid those allergens as much as possible. Depending on the severity and the type of allergy, they should take care to clean bed linens and other laundry regularly in hot water and dust and vacuum weekly. (Those with very severe symptoms should arrange for someone else to perform these tasks.) Homeowners should fix leaks and clean moldy surfaces with a bleach solution and close drains and cracks where insects can enter. Chronic allergy sufferers may want to start taking a mast cell inhibitor, which prevents the release of histamines, throughout allergy season.

Those who frequently suffer sinus infections should use a humidifier or vaporizer to add moisture to the air and sleep with the head slightly elevated to promote drainage. They should also treat cold symptoms promptly. Wash your hands thoroughly and often to prevent the spread of germs.

Warning

Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine, have been known to increase blood pressure in some patients. Other side effects include sleeplessness and irritability.

Likewise, antihistamines are well-known to cause drowsiness. Do not use if you are planning to drive or operate heavy machinery.

When using steam to relieve sinus pressure, use caution. Steam is hot and can burn the nasal passages.

This article is not intended as a substitute for professional medical help. Consult a doctor or pharmacist for specific questions.