With spring just around the corner, many Americans brace themselves for allergy season. Unfortunately, those who suffer from seasonal allergies and live on the eastern side of the United States are in for a long and severe allergy season this year. I know many people are itching to get outside and enjoy warmer weather, but it may not be all fun and games if you suffer from seasonal allergies. Meteorologists are predicting average temperatures, but above-normal rainfall this year. This creates ideal growing conditions. Lots of growth, means lots of trees, weeds, and grass, which means, you guessed it, lots of pollen. What’s more, allergy season may kick off earlier than normal too. So, if you find yourself dealing with itchy eyes, sniffles, coughs, and sneezes this time of year, it may come on sooner than you’d like.
Managing Seasonal Allergies
Keeping an eye on the pollen count is your first line of defense against seasonal allergies. Plan some indoor activities to keep you busy when the pollen count is high. The best time to go outdoors is right after it rains because rain clears pollen out of the air. If it’s dry and windy, however, it may be better to stay indoors. So, if you’re going to hunker down inside to avoid the pollen, it’s a good idea to clean your home to rid yourself of existing indoor allergens. Keep windows and doors closed to keep pollen at bay. And you may want to invest in a HEPA room air cleaner.
Medication For Seasonal Allergies
If your allergies are so bothersome that you reach for medication to ease your symptoms, it’s a good idea to start taking these meds before symptoms start. Your local pharmacy will provide many types of over-the-counter allergy remedies such as nasal sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants. However, it’s best to see a board-certified allergist to accurately diagnose your symptoms. An accurate diagnosis will determine what is triggering your symptoms as well as indicate which medication will work best for you. It’s possible they’ll recommend an allergy shot, which is a type of immunotherapy. Allergy shots are a great way to treat seasonal allergies because they help your body tolerate the allergen rather than just suppress symptoms. This will help your body become less reactive to the allergen.