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 simple matter of treating your allergies.
There are many ways to make seasonal allergies less of a problem. Finding the one that will effectively treat your given symptoms is the trick.
Allergic reactions manifest because your immune system classifies or misidentifies a particular trigger as a threat. A single spec of dust could trigger the same type of reaction in your body as a virus or bacteria when you have allergies.
That’s why simply avoiding contact with your trigger if you can, is sometimes the best way to cope with your allergies. While particular triggers can vary, most people with seasonal allergies are coping with pollen from one plant or another (along with the random 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.
- There are certain times of the year that your particular allergens are at their highest and you should take note of this.
- Avoid being outdoors when pollen counts are high. At night and in the early morning are high pollen times. So try to keep your windows closed during these periods.
- Change clothes after you’ve been outside. Every piece of clothing will collect pollen. So it’s smart to switch into something that hasn’t been exposed.
- Rinsing the pollen off your body and hair in the shower, if you have the time, can also be helpful.
- Monitor the weather. You’ll want to get away from windy and dry environments. Rain knocks all the pollen to the ground and breathing will be a lot easier so try to go out just 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 chores whenever you can.
- If you have a solid grasp on what your triggers are, steering clear of them will be less difficult and will have less of an affect on your life. Your triggers can be discovered by getting an allergy screening and we can help you create a treatment strategy.
Modern homes, though they might be well insulated, aren’t hermetically sealed. Air can flow in and out of your house, and that can expose you to various allergic triggers, including pollen. It can also become an issue if your HVAC develops mold or other allergens. Because of this, keeping your air clean is one of the best ways to prevent and address seasonal allergies.
Shutting 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. Make sure that when you buy filters, you pick ones of a high-quality.
Over-the-counter allergy medications are a constant companion for lots of individuals dealing with seasonal allergies. These are medications you can buy from your local pharmacy without needing a prescription; but, they should all be used with care, thoughtfully, and according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Some of the most well-known over the counter treatments include:
Decongestants: A decongestant is designed to decrease stuffiness. There are numerous well-known brands of this kind of medication, though the actual active ingredient will occasionally vary. If you feel like your nose is plugged or you’re feeling stuffed up, a decongestant may be a good solution over the short term. Sinus infections can also be avoided with decongestants. However, treating seasonal allergies using decongestants may not be the right choice because using decongestants, over extended periods, is not good for your health. Other medications may be a better solution for a runny nose.
Oral antihistamines: Oral antihistamines work to counteract your body’s allergic reaction, so they work fine for common allergies and seasonal allergies (but not for food allergies). Oral antihistamines can help you make it through your day but closely monitor any side-effects. Some side-effects may include dry mouth, drowsiness, or headaches.
Nasal sprays: Sprays have also been shown to be successful at decreasing allergy symptoms. But, in most cases, nasal sprays are most effective when utilized before exposure to allergy triggers. In this way, nasal sprays can be practical if you know you’ll be exposed (for instance, if you need to go to an outdoor event or do some yard work).
Nasal irrigation: Some individuals also see improvement when they utilize saline solutions to irrigate the sinuses and nose. You can purchase saline as a solution or spray. It helps to reduce mucus and also wash away pollen stuck in the nasal passage.
When You Need to Come See us to Treat Seasonal Allergies
Over-the-counter options are sometimes impractical or ineffective for your allergy situation. If you feel you’re in that category, make an appointment with us to talk about treatments and prescription medication. One of the most popular of such forms of treatment is called an allergy shot. Once we discover your precise allergens, allergy shots can be used to desensitize your immune system to those triggers a little at a time.
Your symptoms can be relieved with allergy shots. Over time, that relief can become effectively permanent. As a result, allergy shots are particularly popular among people who suffer from seasonal allergies. With every year that goes by, allergy season appears to be getting more severe, so this may be the best long-term treatment.