When springtime rolls around we’re all excited to get outside and enjoy the nice warm weather after a long winter indoors, but before we know it, we’re sneezing, our noses are running, and our eyes are itchy. Soon, we’re dropping our gardening gloves and running inside to grab our box of tissues. Yes, it must be that time of year again when trees, grasses, and plants are flowering, causing their pollens to float around in the air and aggravate our sinuses and immune system. Unfortunately, it seems more and more of us are suffering from allergies each year, and we’re constantly developing new reactions.
Luckily, there are many effective things you can do to cut down on the symptoms you will experience from your seasonal allergies. The easiest thing you can do is explore your options and choose one of the many over the counter allergy medications that are now being offered at any pharmacy. Whether your symptoms are concentrated in your sinuses, or it feels like your whole body is being affected by your reaction, there’s something for everyone. Typically, the most effective drug to choose should contain an antihistamine which should control the itchiness, and excess mucous.
Many drugs also contain decongestants if you’re having congestion in your sinus cavity or chest, as well as pain relievers to combat any achiness, headache, or backache you may be experiencing. Many of the over the counter allergy medications can cause drowsiness, so keep that in mind when taking anything. If you need to find relief at work, or when you’re on the go, try something that specifically indicates ‘non-drowsy’. Sometimes this claim comes through; though sometimes, I find even the non-drowsy medications can make a person very tired. Different medicines work differently on everyone.
If you can’t seem to pick an over the counter remedy that works for your symptoms, you can always visit your primary care physician, or ask him or her to refer you to a trusted allergist in your area. You can explore other medication options as well as nose sprays, eye drops, etc. If you take the step to be tested for what allergens you are specifically reacting to, your allergist may suggest allergy shots that take place over time to boost your immunity to the allergens. Testing can also help you directly avoid your allergy triggers.
There are a number of changes you can make to your own lifestyle and home that can at least prevent any other irritants from affecting you while you’re in the prime of your allergy season. Keeping your home clean and free of dust, pet fur and dander, and excessive scents from cleaners or perfumes can be a great help. Unfortunately the high pollen count days tend to fall around the time when our furry friends are also shedding their winter coat and getting themselves ready for spring.
Vacuuming regularly, picking up the pet hair with a trusty lint brush, and wiping down surfaces will make a noticeable difference. It’s also worth investigating to make sure you don’t have any areas of your house that might contain a mold issue, such as a basement, a bathroom, or even a backyard that has the potential for blowing the spores into a nearby window. You would be surprised how easily allergens can enter your home. Additionally, changing over to allergy free skincare products is a major change that most wouldn’t realize can make a huge difference in your life.
Also, it’s a smart idea to change the filters on your furnace regularly, to ensure you’re trapping as much as you can before it can get to you. Keep your windows and doors closed during pollen seasons. If you need to keep your house cool, and want to circulate the air, run your central air system. Some furnaces can actually be turned on and off, to allow for the blower to work, but not to distribute hot air. It can be used as a sort of air-filtration system.
It also doesn’t hurt to utilize one of the many air purifiers on the market today. They can do wonders for eliminating a lot of allergens from the air. It’s also important to keep yourself clean. It helps quite a bit to shower or bathe before bed to rid yourself of any pollen that are in your hair, or stuck to your skin. Keeping fingernails short also prevents pollens from getting under them and irritating you later on.
A large number of people believe an old fashioned vitamin regimen can do wonders to help with allergies. For instance, vitamin C can help boost your immune system. If you visit your local organic market, or the organic section of your grocery store, you can usually find a number of homeopathic treatments for both seasonal allergies, and indoor allergies. Some people swear by these methods, while others claim they don’t notice one bit of difference. It may be worth a try though, if you’re a person who doesn’t normally prefer drug options.
With the booming popularity of the internet, you are just a click away from one of many websites that can give you personalized, local pollen forecasts for your area. You can sign up for email alerts so you will be notified of high pollen count days, and you can even find out what specific triggers are currently potent where you live or work. You can minimize or even eliminate the time you spend outdoors on the high pollen count days, and you will even know days in advance, so you can plan ahead and make sure you’re armed with everything you need to battle your allergies.
Although there is no cure-all for our pesky allergies, there are many options that help minimize the symptoms we suffer from. If additional assistance is needed for more prevalent allergies that may or may not occur all year long, you can always rely on your trusted family doctor to assist you with figuring out what relief option will be right for you. Whatever you choose to do to relieve your symptoms, there’s something for everyone, and nobody has to suffer from what they are allergic to.