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Spring has sprung, which means allergy season has sprung right along with it. For sufferers of seasonal allergies, the joy of blossoms and warmer weather is accompanied by the dread of sniffling noses, itchy eyes, and scratchy throats. Learn the top prevention tips for seasonal allergies to take the sting out of this allergy season.
Seasonal allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to everyday elements found in your environment. Tree pollen, weeds, grasses, and outdoor molds tend to be the biggest triggers. Fortunately, websites like the National Allergy Bureau publish up-to-date pollen counts to help you stay informed. Whenever possible, stay indoors on high-allergen days to avoid a flare-up.
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are specially designed to remove tiny particles that trigger allergies. Try investing in a portable HEPA filter and a vacuum cleaner containing a HEPA filter. Because mold spores thrive in hot, humid environments, it may be helpful to purchase a dehumidifier as well. Running a dehumidifier draws excess moisture out of the air, keeping your allergies to a minimum.
Whenever you come inside from the outdoors, you track microorganisms, dust, and allergens with you. During allergy season, take special precautions to stay clean and limit your exposure. Take off your shoes at the door to avoid tracking in allergens, and change your clothes once you are inside. You can ask your family members to do the same, and also request that the non-allergy sufferers help with the housework, as vacuuming and sweeping stir up allergens. Taking frequent showers is another good way to help rid your body of any pollen or dust and limit your exposure.
There’s nothing more tempting than a fresh spring breeze if a house has been closed up during the winter... but resist the temptation when possible, particularly during the spring months. Opening doors and windows unnecessarily lets pollen and mold spores into your home, triggering allergies. Closing windows at night may be particularly helpful, as many species release pollen at that time.
One of the most effective natural remedies for seasonal allergies is rinsing your sinuses. A NIH/NLM study has shown that using a saline solution is a quick, effective (and inexpensive) way to alleviate congestion. You can also visit a local pharmacy for a squeeze bottle or neti pot. Always use sterile water when rinsing your nasal sinuses.
When natural, preventative measures simply aren’t enough, it might be time to turn to medication for some relief. Over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Zyrtec or Claritin, are a great way to reduce itching, sneezing, and stuffiness. Nasal sprays like Flonase are also effective if used before symptoms begin. It may take some trial and error to discover the best allergy medication for you. If the over-the-counter medications don’t seem to help, talk to your medical provider about prescription medications for seasonal allergies.
For more information about managing seasonal allergies, visit MedPost online today.