If you live in a climate anything at all like where I live in coastal Virginia, then the pollens are about to attack your nasal passages with a vengeance—if they haven't already. And for those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies, it can take all the fun out of spring.
I am allergic to so many things that my allergies eventually led to asthma, and I get allergy shots (immunotherapy), which make my life much pleasanter and my sneezing attacks much milder—in the spring and year-round.
If your allergies get out of control in spring, you may want to try these tips from the experts at National Jewish Health, the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. They may not prevent your allergic reactions entirely, but they can ease your symptoms and help you enjoy spring:
- Avoid the wind. If possible, stay inside on windy days. If you must be outside, cover your mouth with a scarf or an allergen mask.
- Cool wisely. Do not use window or attic fans, and keep your windows closed when pollen counts are high. Turn on the air conditioner instead.
- Clean up. Change clothes and wash or shower away pollen after you've been outside. It's especially important to wash before getting in bed.
- Know your triggers. Trees, weeds, grasses and molds peak at different times. You may want to see a specialist to find out what you're allergic to, so you can better avoid your allergens.
- Check pollen counts. Limit pollen exposure by keeping windows closed and staying inside when pollen counts are high. Generally, pollen counts are higher in the afternoon and evening, so if you need to work in the yard, head out early in the morning. The Weather Channel provides helpful allergy maps, and if you click on the Allergy Tracker near the bottom of the page, you can info for your zip code.
- Take meds as recommended. Consistently take the medicines and treatments recommended by your health care provider. Take antihistamines at night, because their effectiveness peaks in the morning. Nasal washes are a natural alternative.
Coping with Seasonal Allergies