10 Tips for Seasonal Allergies

10 Tips for Seasonal Allergies

by Posted on: April 7, 2014Categories: LiveWell 24/7   

It’s that time of year again: Temperatures rise, trees bloom and your nose starts to run. It itches, too; you keep sneezing or coughing, and your eyes won’t stop watering. These are all signs of seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever and most commonly caused by tree pollen that irritates your nasal passages. In the past year, almost 17 million adults were diagnosed with hay fever. Steering clear of allergens is the best way to reduce symptoms, but that’s tough with billions of tiny pollen particulates in the air. You can take steps to minimize exposure; however, talk to a doctor to determine the best treatment plan. Below we’ve compiled 10 tips to help allergy exposure.

1. Check pollen counts.

Before heading out, check the local news or visit (aaaai.org/nab) for up-to-date readings. If levels are high, limit your time outside and take allergy medications.

2. Shut the windows.

Good advice for at home and in the car to help keep pollen out. Cool with the air conditioner instead.

3. Move outdoor activities to the afternoon.

Pollen counts are usually highest from 5 to 10 a.m. If you plan to garden, mow the lawn or take on other allergen-stirring chores, wear a mask.

4. Head out on rainy days.

Moisture helps clear pollen from the air. Dry, windy days are more likely to have a lot of pollen.

5. Strip and shower.

After being outside, it’s a good idea to toss your clothes in the hamper and rinse pollen from your skin and hair.

6. Dry laundry indoors.

As nice as the fresh-air smell may be, pollen can cling to your clothes, sheets and towels.

7. Use high-efficiency filters.

They can help keep indoor air cleaner by trapping pollen and other allergens if you use forced air-conditioning or heating systems.

8. Try a neti pot.

Rinsing your sinuses is a quick, natural and effective way to flush out mucus and allergens so you can breathe easier.

9. Run OTCs by your doctor.

Some over-the-counter oral decongestants can cause side effects, including increased blood pressure and insomnia; certain nasal sprays should be used for only a few days. Your doctor or allergist can help determine the best medication for you.

10. Treat early.

Most medications work best if taken before pollen hits the air. Ask your doctor when you should start treatment; some allergists recommend treatment about two weeks before symptoms typically surface.

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