Seasonal allergies affect an estimated 10-30% of the global population. Seasonal allergies occur most commonly in Spring, but they can also be year-round. Although they can be miserable, there are several ways to combat allergies in order to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities and relieve yourself of the symptoms.
Avoid the cause of the allergies.
Pollen is everywhere during the warmer months and it can be difficult to escape. Some tips to avoid pollen are to stay indoors as much as possible during dry, windy days, when the pollen forecast is high. Avoid gardening chores on high pollen days or wear a pollen mask if needed. Wash clothes worn outside immediately and be sure to shower to remove any and all pollen from your body after outdoor activities.
Try over-the-counter prevention.
There several medications on the market that can help with seasonal allergies. Oral antihistamines can relieve common symptoms of allergies. Nasal decongestants and antihistamines combined are also a way to combat the overwhelming symptoms. Your health care provider can help you decide on a medication specific to your symptoms.
Rinse your sinuses.
This can flush out any mucus or allergens in your nose and provide congestion relief. When using a neti pot or a squeeze bottle, it is important to use water that has been boiled and cooled or sufficiently filtered.
Seek other treatments.
If over-the-counter medicine is not doing the trick, talk to your doctor about other options to pursue. Some of these options include taking an allergy test, or allergy shots.
- Try to avoid pollen by keeping your indoor air clean and avoiding the outdoors when the pollen forecast is high.
- Try over-the-counter medication based on your symptoms.
- Rinse your sinuses in order to relieve congestion associated with allergies.
- Don’t be discouraged. Talk to your doctor to see what other methods are available to treat seasonal allergies.
Sources: Mayo Clinic, National Institutes of Health. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource.