How to: Avoiding autumn allergies

Youngstown, OHIO (CNN) – If patients aren’t able to completely sidestep allergies, there are some practical things you can do to minimize the misery. First step is to find out if you have a cold or allergies.

Common symptoms that may resemble a cold:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Watery Eyes
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Fatigue

Allergy Specialist Doctor Stanley Fineman said there are two key characteristics that may signal you have an allergy.

“You usually don’t get as much itching with a cold, but itching is kind of a sign of allergies,” said Dr. Fineman. “With colds it’s usually over in five to seven days; allergies can last a lot longer.”

Trying to “tough out” the symptoms may not be a good idea. Medications, like anti-histamines, and allergy shots, will help relieve symptoms.It takes 4-6 months of shots before patients feel relief.

Dr. Fineman said avoiding allergens by limiting your time outside is a good start. “We suggest people wash their hair before they go to sleep, take their shoes off, keep their windows closed, use air conditioning, wash their pets, things that are just practical suggestions for keeping the pollen out of the house as best you can,” said Dr. Fineman.

People allergic to ragweed should avoid eating bananas if they are suffering from allergies. Eating bananas will make symptoms worse; 75% of people who have allergies are allergic to ragweed.

Pollen levels are highest between 5 A.M. and 10 A.M.

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