Everyone 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 pleasant. Fortunately, treating seasonal allergies will improve your quality of life and get you back to doing what you enjoy.
There are various ways to make seasonal allergies less of a hassle. The trick is finding the best one for you and your allergy symptoms.
When your immune system misidentifies a specific trigger as a threat, an allergic reaction occurs. When you have seasonal allergies, something like a spec of pollen might generate the same immune reaction as bacteria or viruses.
That’s why sometimes the best way to treat seasonal allergies is simply to steer clear of your triggers. Pollen from one or another plant or occasionally fungal spores are the most prevalent seasonal allergies.
Staying away from pollen can be the easiest way to manage seasonal allergies:
- Get an app that alerts you when allergens are high and be aware of the pollen count in your area.
- There are specific times of the year that your particular allergens are at their peak and you should be aware of this.
- Steer clear of being outside when pollen counts are high. At night and early in the morning are high pollen times. So try to keep your windows closed during these periods.
- Change clothes after going outdoors. Every piece of clothing will collect pollen. So it’s best to switch into something that hasn’t been exposed.
- If you have time, a short wash in the shower could help get that pollen off your body and out of your hair, too.
- Pay attention to the weather forecast. If it’s windy or dry, the pollen count tends to be higher, so keep out of these types of conditions. Instead, go outside right after a rain shower (the rain will push all the pollen to the ground, making it easier for you to breathe).
- Steer clear of landscaping activities like gardening or mowing. In the months when your seasonal allergies are a real problem, you’ll want to avoid outdoor chores whenever you can.
- Avoidance will be simpler (and will have a smaller impact on your life) when you have a solid understanding of what your allergy triggers might be. Your triggers can be determined by having an allergy assessment and we can help you develop a treatment plan.
Most of us live in homes that are well insulated but aren’t hermetically sealed. Air flows into and out of your home, and that can expose you to some of your allergic triggers, such as pollen. If your HVAC holds mold or allergens, this can also be an issue. As a result, keeping your air clean is one of the best ways to avoid and address seasonal allergies.
You could take steps, such as using a HEPA filter (or a vacuum with a HEPA filter), running your air conditioning when you can, and closing your windows to keep your air clean. Be certain that when you use filters, you get ones of a high-quality.
Over-the-counter allergy medicines are a constant companion for many people suffering from seasonal allergies. You don’t need a prescription to purchase these medications, but you still should use them responsibly and according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Here are some popular over-the-counter treatments:
Decongestants: Reducing stuffiness is the job of a decongestant. There are many popular brands of this kind of medication, though the actual medication will sometimes vary. Decongestants may be a good short-term option if you’re feeling extremely stuffed up or if you feel like you have a plugged nose. Sinus infections can also be prevented with decongestants. But decongestants can be bad for your health if used over the long term so they may not be an appropriate choice for seasonal allergies. Other medications could be a better choice for a runny nose.
Oral antihistamines: Oral antihistamines work for common and seasonal allergies because they prevent the body’s reaction to them (but they don’t work on food allergies). Oral antihistamines can sometimes have side-effects so although they might help you make it through the day, you should use them carefully. Some people complain of headaches, drowsiness, or dry mouth.
Nasal sprays: Sprays have also been demonstrated to be successful at decreasing allergy symptoms. But, in most circumstances, nasal sprays are most effective when utilized before exposure to allergy triggers. As a result, 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 patient also experience relief when they use saline solutions to irrigate the sinuses and nose. These can come as a solution or spray. It rinses out pollen that’s stuck in your nasal passages and reduces mucus.
When You Should See us to Treat Seasonal Allergies
Sometimes, over-the-counter medications are not best suited or effective. If you feel you’re in that category, set an appointment with us to discuss treatments and prescription medication. An allergy shot is one of the most popular of this type of treatment. After we identify what you’re allergic to, an allergy shot can introduce your trigger gradually into your system, progressively desensitizing your immune system.
Your symptoms can be alleviated with allergy shots. Over time, that relief can become essentially permanent. Because of this, individuals with seasonal allergies are particularly fond of this strategy. This may be a more practical, long-term treatment as allergy season seems to be growing more severe and long-lasting every year.