Substances capable of provoking allergic reactions are called allergens. Allergies to airborne allergens such as house dust mites, mold, pollen and animal dander  affect over 50 million people in America today. Although widespread, allergies are treatable and the symptoms are controllable. Depending upon your individual situation, your allergist will recommend one, two or all three of the following treatments:


Eliminating or decreasing your exposure to the substance to which you are allergic. The less of the allergy-causing material you breathe in, the more comfortable you will be, and the less medication you will require.

Using pharmaceuticals in various forms to block the symptoms of allergy. Although this does not do anything to eliminate the specific allergy causing those symptoms, it is at times a necessary part of treatment, especially in asthma or severe nasal allergy.


Injecting the actual substances to which you are allergic, in order to produce a degree of tolerance to them. The allergist at first injects very minute amounts of the allergens, and then very slowly and gradually increases the dose over time, thereby decreasing your degree of sensitivity.



Once your allergist determines the specific substances that cause your symptoms, you should then reduce your exposure to those allergens as much as possible. This is the most fundamental starting place, especially when symptoms are the result of allergy to materials present in the indoor environment. 

In some cases, exposure can be eliminated or decreased to the point that no other treatment is necessary. In other cases exposure can be decreased only partially, making other types of treatment necessary. But even in those situations, less treatment will be required, and it will work better if you have first decreased exposure. 

When thinking about decreasing exposure, it is useful to keep in mind the analogy between the level of an individual’s “allergic threshold” and the capacity of a glass. If too much water is poured into the glass, it will overflow. This happens regardless of whether all of the water came from a single pitcher, or whether some water was poured from each of several pitchers. If the total amount of water exceeds the capacity of the glass, the glass will overflow. 

Similarly, if an individual is allergic to one or more substances, the sum total of exposures at a given time (the “total allergen load”) determines whether or not the person’s threshold will be exceeded and symptoms will result. Successful allergen avoidance does not necessarily mean lowering exposure to zero. It does, however, require making significant decreases in exposure, to get the level of allergen in your environment below your allergic threshold.

by: Ratsya