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How can allergy be managed?

Q: I am a 19 years old student who has been suffering from allergy / cold for the last four years. I have a problem of blockage of nose, sneezing and itching in eyes, nose and throat. How can this allergy be managed?

A:Your symptoms suggest that you have allergic rhinitis. Typical symptoms are watery runny nose, sneezing, itchiness in nose and eyes more so in the morning. It may be seasonal or throughout the year. Some patients may have nasal blockage and cough. Management of allergic rhinitis is:

Preventive: Avoid exposure to dusty environment, damp moist places, sudden change of temperature, strong smells. Heavy carpets, curtains in the house should be avoided. Anything that grabs dust should not be kept in the house. Cockroaches and pets in the house add to the problem.

Medical management: If the symptoms are mild, daily dose of anti allergic tablets help. But if the symptoms are moderate to severe then along with tablet, nasal steroid spray has to be given for some time. These sprays are safe as the action is mainly local and the medicine does not get absorbed in the blood. There is no permanent cure of allergic rhinitis, i.e. one course of medicine does not guarantee lifelong cure but it does take care of the symptoms. As the medicines are safe they can be taken for variable period according to the symptoms under guidance of ENT doctor.

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