Coping with Seasonal Allergies
It's that time of year again! As temperatures rise, flowers and trees bloom and so many people also find themselves suffering from seasonal allergies as well. With a runny-itchy nose, we may also keep sneezing or coughing, and our eyes just won't stop watering. All of these are symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis, (also known as hay fever) which is most commonly caused by tree pollen that irritates your nasal passages.
In the past year alone, approximately 17 million adults were diagnosed with seasonal allergies. While simply avoiding allergens is the best way to reduce symptoms, that can in turn be incredibly hard to accomplish with billions of tiny pollen particles floating in the air.
Here are the Top 8 Best Tips to assisting you in combating your hay fever!
1. Monitor Pollen Counts.
Remember to always check the local news or visit the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology's National Allergy Bureau (aaaai.org/nab) for current readings on local area pollen counts. If levels are too high, be sure to limit your time outside and take allergy medications.
2. Close Windows.
The best advice for the home and the car is to help keep pollen out. Instead of opening windows, cool with an air conditioner instead.
3. Reserve Outdoor Time to the Afternoon.
It's been shown that pollen counts typically peak from 5 to 10 a.m. If you plan on gardening, mowing the lawn or taking on other allergen-related chores, be sure to wear a mask.
4. Sing in the Rain (or just take a walk).
Rain and moisture assist in clearing pollen from the air, whereas dry, windy days to boast a lot of pollen.
5. Take a Shower.
After being outside, remove your outside clothes to wash them and choose new, pollen-free ones then head into the shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
6. Dry Laundry Inside.
Many opt for the natural, fresh, and energy saving option of outdoor drying their clothing, however, pollen can cling to clothes, sheets, and towels.
8. Neti pot.
Giving your sinuses a quick rinse is a natural and highly effective way to flush mucus and allergens out of your body allowing you to breathe easier.
10. Treat early.
The majority of medications are most effective if they are taken prior to pollen hitting the air. Be sure to talk with your doctor about when you should start treatment; as many allergists recommend starting treatments approximately two weeks prior to the onset of symptoms.