Written by Laurence Stiefel, MD
As the winter months ebb and spring looms on the horizon, most people look forward to the warmer weather and the blooming of plants. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, it is no picnic. Spring can be an unpleasant season filled with itchy eyes, runny noses and scratchy throats. Fortunately, there are many ways to lessen allergy symptoms so that you can better enjoy the season. Here are some tips for allergy victims:
There are effective allergy medications that can prevent or at least lessen your symptoms. Non-drowsy antihistamines are usually the first line of defense, but steroid nasal sprays are also quite effective. Try to start the medicines one to two weeks before pollen season begins. If you have never used medicine for your allergies before, consult your physician before starting.
Another way to prevent symptoms is to lessen your exposure to outdoor allergens. Keep the windows and doors shut in your home. Screens cannot keep out pollens and molds from your house. Consider starting your air conditioning early in the season if it starts to feel stuffy.
Try to time your outdoor activities to avoid peak pollen times, which are early to mid-morning hours. Also, hot dry days tend to have higher pollen counts than colder, more humid days. Wash your clothing and bedding often in allergy season, as you can track allergens indoor on fabric.
If you are still suffering, consider nasal saline sprays or an old fashion neti pot to rinse out your nose and lessen allergen exposure.
By playing it smart and using these strategies, hopefully you can reduce your allergy symptoms and have an enjoyable spring and summer.