Spring has sprung, and unfortunately, so have seasonal allergies. For many seasonal allergy sufferers, symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy and watery eyes and sneezing are synonymous with spring.
Avoiding allergens is the most effective approach. However, complete avoidance can be difficult when dealing with seasonal allergies. These nine practical tips can help you enjoy the beauty of spring and make your seasonal allergy symptoms an afterthought:
Consider allergy medication
There are a variety of medications that are highly effective at minimizing seasonal allergy symptoms. These include antihistamines, corticosteroid nasal sprays and decongestants.
Stay inside on dry, windy days
Limiting exposure to pollen is the first step in reducing allergy symptoms. The level of pollen in the air is higher during breezy days when the wind picks up these microscopic grains. On rainy days, the pollen is practically washed away.
Check daily pollen counts
Check pollen counts in the morning and try to stay indoors when they are high. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
Keep doors and windows closed
Wind can carry microscopic amounts of pollen into your home. During peak pollen times, shut your doors and windows. If possible, use an air conditioner instead of a fan to cool off.
Wash clothing and sheets often
When you return home from spending time outdoors, wash your clothes right away if you can. Tell other members of your family to do the same. This should prevent you from tracking allergens inside. Wash your sheets, blankets and pillowcases in hot or warm water every week or two.
Do not hang laundry outside
Pollen can stick to clothing and bedding, so resist the temptation to hang laundry outside.
Bathe after being outside
Pollen is a sticky substance. It can cling to your skin, hair and clothing, then transfer to your couch and rugs, where it can continue to cause allergic reactions. Bathing after outdoor activity is an easy and effective way to protect yourself and your family.
Wear a face mask when doing yard work
When you are tending your garden or yard, a surgical mask can help minimize your exposure to pollen particles by avoiding direct pollen inhalation.
Use a HEPA air filter
Installing a high-quality HEPA air filter can reduce the number of allergens circulating through your residence. Just make sure you are regularly replacing filters, particularly during high-usage times. A good rule of thumb is to check your filter once a month to see if it needs replacing.
Seasonal allergies can make you feel miserable and suck the enjoyment out of spring. The good news is that seasonal allergies can be minimized with practical tips for avoiding pollen and effective allergy treatment.
Your Saskatoon Co-op pharmacist can be a valuable resource to help you develop an effective seasonal allergy strategy that makes sense for you. Speak to your Co-op pharmacist today to help you find relief from your seasonal allergies and make them an afterthought.