Everybody around you celebrates when the weather changes and the sun begins to shine. But for you, thanks to the runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes of your seasonal allergies, it’s not so fun. Here’s the good news, getting back to doing the things you love is a basic matter of treating your allergies.
You can keep seasonal allergies in check utilizing a few strategies. The trick is discovering the correct one for you and your allergy symptoms.
When your immune system misidentifies a certain trigger as a threat, an allergic reaction happens. A single piece of dust may cause the same kind of reaction in your body as a virus or bacteria when you have allergies.
That’s why in some cases the best way to manage seasonal allergies is simply to avoid your triggers. While particular triggers can vary, the majority of people with seasonal allergies are dealing with pollen from one plant or another (along with the occasional fungal spore).
Avoiding pollen can be the simplest way to manage seasonal allergies:
- Check pollen counts for your area and get an app that sends you alerts when your allergens are high.
- Get acquainted with what time of year your particular allergens will probably be highest.
- Steer clear of being outside when pollen counts are high. Pollen counts are usually highest in the early morning and at night. This also means you should avoid having your windows open during these periods.
- Change clothes after going outside. The pollen will stick to shorts, shirts, socks, you name it. So putting on new, clean clothes that haven’t been exposed to the outside is the best strategy.
- Rinsing the pollen off your body and hair in the shower, if you have the time, can also be helpful.
- Monitor the weather. If it’s dry or windy, the pollen count tends to be higher, so keep out of these types of conditions. Rain knocks all the pollen to the ground and breathing will be a lot easier so try to go out right after it rains.
- Steer clear of landscaping projects like gardening or mowing. In the months when your seasonal allergies are the worst, you’ll want to avoid outdoor activities whenever possible.
- Avoidance will be simpler (and will have a smaller impact on your life) when you have a solid grasp of what your allergy triggers might be. Your triggers can be identified by having an allergy screening and we can help you establish a treatment plan.
Most of us live in homes that are well insulated but not hermetically sealed. Air can flow into and out of your home, and that can expose you to various allergic triggers, such as pollen. If your HVAC has mold or allergens, this can also be an issue. So, one of the best ways to control seasonal allergies is to keep your air clean.
Closing your windows while running an air conditioner and using a HEPA filter (or a HEPA filter on your vacuum) are all effective allergy management plans. Using high-efficiency filters can also help decrease symptoms.
For many people dealing with seasonal allergies, over-the-counter remedies are a constant companion. You don’t require a prescription to purchase these medications, but you still need to use them conscientiously and according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Here are some prominent over-the-counter treatments:
Decongestants: A decongestant is manufactured to decrease stuffiness. There are numerous well-known brands of this kind of medication, though the actual medication will sometimes vary. If you feel like you have a plugged nose or you’re feeling stuffed up, a decongestant may be a practical solution over the short term. It can also help prevent a sinus infection. But decongestants can be harmful to your health if used over extended periods of time so they may not be an appropriate choice for seasonal allergies. If your nose is runny, other medications may be more successful.
Oral antihistamines: Oral antihistamines work to neutralize your body’s allergic reaction, so they work well for common allergies and seasonal allergies (but not for food allergies). Oral antihistamines can sometimes have side-effects so even though they may help you make it through the day, you should use them carefully. Some people complain of headaches, drowsiness, or dry mouth.
Nasal sprays: Allergy symptoms have also been demonstrated to be successfully treated with nasal sprays. When utilized before exposure to allergy triggers, in most cases, nasal sprays are most effective. So if you’re going to do some yard-work or are planning on attending an outdoor event, for instance, a nasal spray might be a good choice.
Nasal irrigation: Some individuals also experience relief when they utilize saline solutions to irrigate the sinuses and nose. You can purchase saline as a spray or solution. It helps to reduce mucus and also wash out pollen trapped in the nasal passage.
When is it Time to Come See us For Help?
In some cases, over-the-counter treatments are not appropriate or effective. schedule an appointment with us to discuss treatment options and prescription medications if you believe you might fall into this category. One of the most prominent of such forms of treatment is called an allergy shot. Once we know your precise allergens, allergy shots can be used to desensitize your immune system to those triggers one tiny bit at a time.
Allergy shots can provide relief from your symptoms. Over time, that relief can become effectively permanent. Because of this, individuals with seasonal allergies are particularly partial to this approach. This might be a more practical, long-term treatment as allergy season appears to be growing more severe and long-lasting every year.