While spring time brings about blooming flowers and trees, it also brings runny noses, congestion and sneezing for many people with seasonal allergies. If you’re one of the 40 million people in the U.S. who suffer from seasonal allergies, try these tips from pharmacist Robert Lammle to help you control your allergies and survive allergy season.
- Is it actually allergies? – The sudden change from cold to warm weather can make it difficult to differentiate between allergies and a cold or virus, especially if you don’t normally have seasonal allergies. If your congestion and allergy symptoms last for over two weeks, and those symptoms worsen when you’re exposed to triggers like pollen, then you likely have allergies.
- Minimize your exposure to allergy triggers – If you have seasonal allergies, you should minimize your exposure to the things that trigger your allergies. Stay indoors on dry, windy days when the pollen count is at its highest; avoid mowing the lawn and gardening chores; don’t hang laundry outside; and remove any clothing you’ve worn outdoors once you come inside. If you have to perform outdoor chores, wear a mask to protect yourself from allergens.
- Utilize your windows – If you’re allergic to indoor allergens such as dust or mold, open the windows to let in the fresh air and rid your home of allergens. However, if you are allergic to outdoor allergens like pollen, keep the windows closed and run your cooling system.
- Pay attention to high pollen counts – High pollen counts can cause your seasonal allergies to flare up. To minimize your exposure to pollen, avoid spending time outdoors when there is a lot of pollen in the air. Check your local news station or newspaper or the Internet for current pollen counts and pollen forecasts. If high pollen levels are forecasted, take your medication before your symptoms occur. Also, be sure to close your windows and doors when pollen counts are high.