Are Spring Allergies in Your Future?
Spring is here! And while many are joyful at the thought of warmer weather, there are over 67 million Americans who suffer from allergies, and springtime pollen can be anything but joyous. Itchy watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, hives, fatigue, and irritability are some of the symptons spring allergy sufferers can look forward to. If this is something you’re dealing with, be proactive. Check your local pollen count and daily weather to see how you can protect yourself. We’ve collected some good tips to help survive spring allergies. Here’s what you can do this season:
- Determine if it’s really allergies: The sudden change from cool to warm weather can make it hard to tell if you’re dealing with spring allergies or a cold (particularly if you don’t usually get seasonal allergies). Keep in mind that the absence of fever and aches is a clue it’s probably allergies and not a cold or other virus.
- Try symptom relief: Over-the-counter decongestants will help relieve a stuffy nose and antihistamines can tackle sniffles and itching. If drugstore medications aren’t your thing, try a natural remedy like a saline nasal rinse (either with a neti pot or a spray), which helps clear allergens like pollen from your nasal membranes, minimizing symptoms. Also, gargling with salt water can soothe a sore or scratchy throat. Try this once or twice a day throughout allergy season to ease congestion.
- Avoid bringing pollen indoors: Don’t drag allergens throughout your home where they’ll continue to cause your symptoms to act up. Take your shoes off, change clothes, wash your face and hands after you’ve been outside, bathe and shampoo daily to remove pollen from your skin and hair, wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week, and avoid line drying your clothes and bedding outdoors when the pollen count is high.
- Plan your mornings accordingly: Check pollen counts in the morning and try to stay indoors when they are high. Limiting outdoor exposure when pollen count is especially high (between 5am-10am or on warm and dry or especially windy days) can really help reduce symptoms.
- Protect yourself (literally): Planning to be outside for long periods of time? Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, or in severe cases, even a facemask!
- Keep your windows closed: Avoid letting pollen in with open windows. And set your air conditioners to re-circulate in your home and vehicle to avoid drawing in outside pollen-rich air.
- Sign up for allergy alerts: Monitor the allergy counts in your area by signing up for local alerts. It will help you plan for your day. Or, if you’re traveling, do some research on allergy forecasts in your destination.
- And lastly, take allergy symptoms seriously: Don’t brush off allergies. Listen to your body. Rest when you need and take the necessary precautions to help keep you feeling your best. Visit your allergist or doctor if symptoms persists and see what actions are right for you.