COMBATTING SEASONAL ALLERGIES
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, chances are that you know exactly when spring has begun! The sun is out, flowers are blooming, and the air is rife with pollen. It is estimated that 50 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies each year. There are three major sources of pollen that coincide with three of the four seasons. During the spring, trees release their highest amounts of pollen, which we are experiencing now. Summer brings grass pollen, and fall is weed pollen. Depending on the severity of your immune systems response to allergens, you could find yourself suffering nearly year-round! There are ways to minimize your exposure to allergies to maximize relief. The best bet for dealing with seasonal allergies is to take over-the-counter allergy medication. These are meant to be taken daily and before the onset of symptoms, so make sure to follow the dosing directions on the package.
You may notice a thin layer of pollen coating your car in the mornings, so while driving, keep your windows up to prevent allergens from coming in and hit the ‘recirculate’ button while using the AC. Check and replace your cabin air filter each year, and frequently wash your vehicle.
Buy an air purifier and changing the air filters in your home will also help tremendously to prevent pollen from circulating around. Regularly vacuum and wash bed sheets and curtains or any other space where pollen may settle. After entering the home, take off your shoes and throw the clothes you were just wearing into the wash to leave pollen at the door. By taking a shower before bed, you also prevent pollen from getting on your pillows.
Dogs love to spend time outdoors laying in grass, so if you have pets, wash them every few weeks and brush them daily. Their fur can become pollen magnets, but keep in mind that you can dry out their skin by removing natural oils by washing more than every two weeks!
Most weather apps have pollen counts and will state when pollen is the highest. During these pollen peaks, stay indoors and plan an activity that will keep you inside.
If all of the above are not working for you, you may need to schedule an appointment with an allergist to test for what specific allergens are bothering you. The allergist will be able to prescribe the appropriate meds, therapy, or allergy shots that you need build up a tolerance.