Healthy Lifestyle: Tips to Avoid Allergies @ Reward Me

Understanding Allergic Rhinitis & Food Allergy

Many of us know the misery of allergies all too well and have had to endure the discomfort of sneezing, a runny nose, stomach troubles or a skin rash.

Suffering from an allergy is often regarded as a trivial condition. But ask any sufferer and they’ll tell you that an allergy flare-up can seriously disrupt ordinary daily functioning, affecting sleep, mood, energy levels and concentration.

Allergies on the increase.

These days it seems almost everyone is allergic to something. Culprits include pollution, food additives and even our squeaky-clean modern lifestyle, which apparently doesn’t challenge the immune system early enough in life. Overly eager to do battle, our immune system, which usually reserves its ammunition for viruses and bacteria, confuses the good guys with the bad. Although the tendency to develop allergies is hereditary, it doesn’t mean you’re doomed to be a sufferer.

Hay fever

Symptoms of an allergy to pollen include itchy, red, watery eyes, sneezing, a constant runny nose and headaches. If your symptoms occur only during spring and summer, it’s called seasonal allergic rhinitis. If they occur year round, it’s called perennial rhinitis and is possibly due to an allergy to house dust. Allergic rhinitis tends to be more common in people who have other allergic disorders such as asthma, eczema or migraine.

Allergic or intolerant – what’s the difference?

Food allergy involves an abnormal reaction of the immune system. The symptoms are serious, and include itching and swelling of the face, lips, mouth and throat, and shortness of breath or wheezing. Food intolerance or sensitivity, however, merely makes you uncomfortable. Often a food ‘doesn’t agree with you’, but you can still eat it. Symptoms typically include bloating. Scientists think one reason that intolerances are increasing is that we now have year-round access to many seasonal foods and we eat the same things over and over again. That is, until our digestive systems rebel. Another cause is thought to be convenience foods, which are processed and contain additives that may irritate.

Check out what is the difference between food intolerance & allergy here.


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Can allergies be reversed?

Supposedly if the offending food is eliminated from the diet for two years, about one third of adults will develop a tolerance for that food. You will remain potentially allergic though and will show positive on an allergy test, but may not react if you eat the food. However, many food allergies, for example to peanuts, nuts, shellfish and fish, are permanent.

Get tested

If you think you’re allergic, your doctor can refer you to a specialist clinic for testing. A good idea is to keep a food diary and note your symptoms to show to your doctor.


  • Avoid areas with long or freshly cut grass and try to stay indoors when the pollen count is high (it usually peaks in the mornings).
  • Try to leave doors and windows closed to keep allergens out.
  • Cover mattresses and pillows with allergen-proof covers to keep dust mites in check.
  • Keep car windows shut.
  • When outside, wear sunglasses to help prevent eye irritation.

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Steam mops also good way to disinfect the house and keep pollens away...though obviously food allergies cannot be controlled from this.

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Air purifiers are good to remove allergies.

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