Spring is a season many look forward to. The days grow longer, the weather warms up and everything starts to bloom. Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergy symptoms. They may begin as early as February. Mild winters can cause plants to pollinate early. And wet weather can lead to plants growing quickly.1
Symptoms include sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, red, watery or itchy eyes, and more. If you’re one of these people, you may skip going outside unless you have to. Try these tips to help prevent or reduce the severity of your symptoms. It may get you back smelling the flowers.
Give these tactics a try. Who knows? Perhaps you could start to enjoy the great outdoors without allergy symptoms.
Figure out what you’re allergic to
A doctor can help you figure out what triggers your allergies. It could be pollen from grasses, trees and weeds, or molds. With that, you can learn the best way to reduce, treat or prevent symptoms.
Proactively manage symptoms
If you take over-the-counter allergy medications, such as a non-sedating antihistamine or anti-inflammatory steroid nose spray, try pre-medicating about two hours before going outside.2 Talk to a physician about the best fit for your needs or if a prescription medication is right for you.
Check local pollen counts or forecasts daily. Plan outdoor activities, like exercise, on days when pollen counts are expected to be lowest.3 Protect yourself with sunglasses and a hat while out and about. Remove shoes before going inside and change your clothes once indoors. Be sure to machine wash and dry your clothes. To air dry, use an indoor rack and not an outdoor line.
Be aware on windy days
Windy days can mean more pollen is circulating in the air. Those days, keep windows closed and use air conditioning. Use asthma- and allergy-friendly filters to reduce indoor airborne allergens. Try to stick to indoor activities on windier days.
Shower after outdoor activity or at night before bed
Taking a shower and washing your hair helps remove allergens. It helps keep them off your sheets. Change your bedding and towels at least once a week. Be sure to wash them in hot, soapy water.
Colds and flu can also stick around late into the spring. Find out the difference between them.
Published March 29, 2016
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