Those of us with seasonal allergies dread the symptoms: congestion, coughing, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing and an overall feeling of being miserable. Allergies happen when our immune system aggressively attacks substances like pollen.
Don’t feel powerless against these symptoms. Try these nine ways to keep your seasonal allergies under control.
1) Limit exposure to allergy triggers.
Stay inside when it’s dry and windy outside. Save outdoor activity for times other than the early mornings when pollen counts are at their highest.
2) Use your washing machine, dryer and shower to help.
Take a daily shower to rinse pollen from your hair and skin before bed. This removes any pollen from your hair and skin and keep it off your sheets.
Once a week, wash your bedding in hot water. Stop line-drying your bedding and clothes outside. Pollen can make a home on your clothes, sheets and towels.
3) Keep pollen where it belongs — outside.
Close all doors and windows at night and during peak times of high pollen counts. Turn on the air conditioner in your house and car. By recirculating the air, you stop the outside pollen-rich air from coming in.
4) Set up defense systems in your home.
Use a dehumidifier to keep inside air dry. WomansDay.com also recommends using a high-efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filter in your bedroom vent and vacuum cleaner to remove irritating particles from the air.
5) Sign up for pollen forecasts.
If a high pollen count is in the forecast, take your allergy medications before any nasty symptoms start.
6) Over-the-counter medications can help.
Oral antihistamines are stars when it comes to blocking histamine, which causes itching, runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes.
Decongestants help when your nose is all stuffed up and breathing through your nostrils is impossible. They shrink the lining of your nasal passages.
7) Prescription eye drops or nasal spray can provide relief.
Prescription steroid nose sprays reduce any swelling in the nose, which gives you a reprieve from allergy symptoms, according to USNews.com. Ask your doctor if he thinks they are for you.
8) Clean out your nose.
Rinse out your nasal passages with store-bought or homemade saline.
Here’s a recipe: mix three heaping teaspoons of iodide-free salt with one rounded teaspoon of baking soda. Then add one cup of lukewarm distilled water. Use a squeeze bottle or neti pot to send the solution up your nose.(2)
It’s a fast, cheap and effective way to relieve nasal congestion. The rinsing directly flushes out allergens, mucus and other irritants from your nose, according to the Mayo Clinic.
9) Check out allergy shots.
Visit a doctor to see if an allergy shot is for you. Allergy shots involve being regularly injected with a small amount of something to which you're allergic. The goal is to stimulate your immune system and help your body become desensitized to the allergens, explained USNews.com.
It’s time to take your fight directly to the allergens and get seasonal allergies under your control.
Reviewed May 10, 2016
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith
1) Brody, Barbara. "Q & A: Allergy Season." WomansDay.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2016.
2) Mayer Robinson, Kara. "Treat and Prevent Spring Allergies: Drugs, Nasal Sprays, Allergy Shots, and More." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 08 May 2016.
3) "Hay Fever." Seasonal Allergies: Nip Them in the Bud. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2016.
4) Payne, January W. "Seasonal Allergy Symptoms: 6 Ways to Prevent or Treat Them." USNews.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 May 2016.
5) "Search Allergy Articles." What? Don't Go Outside to Avoid Seasonal Allergies? There Must Be a Better Way. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 May 2016.
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