If you suffer from allergies, your symptoms can be stopping you from getting the most out of your daily activities. That's why constantly being on lookout for the best allergy management tips for the utmost effectiveness. The good news is that researchers are continually discovering new approaches to prevent and treat this chronic condition.  Here is an overview of a few of the latest discoveries in the field.

Give Immunotherapy a Shot

Immunotherapy (or allergy shots) can be an effective way to prevent and treat your allergies. However, in order for this method to work, you need be willing to give it a shot -- literally. Research presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology's 2009 Annual Meeting revealed that despite the fact that allergy shots can offer significant relief from allergies, the majority of patients studied did not follow through on the treatment to completion. In fact, the study looked at a group of people who were recommended for three years of immunotherapy treatment. A full sixty percent of these patients didn't follow through on the three years of treatment to completion, and less than a quarter even stuck with the method for two full years.

This finding reiterates the importance for allergy sufferers to revisit this method, which researchers point out is still the only known way to modify the course of allergies at this time, making it an important approach for people with serious symptoms to consider. But the findings also reinforce that in order to get the best results, you must make a commitment to stick with it.[i]

Use Pets Preventatively

And while getting shots can help you to manage your condition, did you know that having a pet can actually help prevent allergy symptoms in your children? A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association discovered that children who had two or more pets in their home from the time they were born were up to 77 percent less likely to develop allergies as their counterparts. This finding, which goes against conventional thinking, is just one of the many new ways researchers are finding it possible to prevent allergies and avoid the host of related symptoms. Of course for adults who already suffer from allergies, having a pet can still cause symptoms, but this can be different for each individual. [ii]

While these findings are indeed promising, it is important to note that this issue is one of great controversy and there are also studies that don't support the results, so parents have to decide what approach they think is best for their own children.

Shape Up and Ship Food Allergies Out

If you can't seem to lose weight, a new study released this month offers hope that with some small changes, you can indeed shape up. The findings showed a surprising link between your body's reaction to certain things you eat and drink and your tendency to be overweight. Researchers explain that many people may be eating items to which their body has an allergy or simply can't tolerate.  Their research reveals that when you eat a food you are allergic to, your immune system produces chemicals that block insulin receptors. This means that instead of breaking down sugars, your body causes it as fat.  To overcome this challenge, the study suggests findings undergoing a special lab test that identifies your body's processing of food and helps you to eliminate anything that causes an allergic reaction. If study participants are typical, you can expect with these simple changes to be able to significantly take off some weight. [iii]

Hope for Overcoming Allergies

These are just a few of the many promising findings in the field of allergy management and prevention. A number of other important developments are also on the radar screen, offering hope that many allergy sufferers can say goodbye to their seasonal triggers, prevent peanut and other serious food allergy reactions and use medications without any side effects.

[i] 2009 American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology Annual Meeting (AAAAI) that was conducted by Allergy Partners, P.A., and was supported by Greer. (More information about the AAAI Annual Meeting can be found at http://aaaai.omnibooksonline.com/annual09/)

[ii] Ownby DR. Exposure to dogs and cats in the first year of life and risk of allergic sensitization at 6 to 7 years of age. JAMA . 2002;288(8):963-972. (http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/288/8/963?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&volume=288&firstpage=963&resourcetype=HWCIT)

[iii] The Effect of The ALCAT Test Diet Therapy for Food Sensitivity in Patient's With Obesity

*Mohammed Akmal, **Saeed Ahmed Khan, **Abdul Qayyum Khan *Dubai Specialized Medical Center & Research Labs, **Dubai Pharmacy College,  Middle East Journal of Family Medicine, April 2009 - Volume 7, Issue 3. (https://www.alcat.com/assets/File/The%20Effect%20of%20The%20ALCAT%20Test%20Diet%20Therapy%20for%20Food%20Sensitivity%20in%20Patients%20With%20Obesity%20-%20Middle%20East%20Journal%20of%20Family%20Medicine%20-%20April%202009,%20Volume%207,%20Issue%203.pdf)