Spring means flowering plants and flowering trees – and if you are one of the millions of people with certain allergies at this time of year, it also means sneezing, congestion, runny nose and other annoying symptoms. Allergies are also known as hay fever and allergen rhinitis – can make you feel miserable. But before you settle on plastic flowers and artificial turf, try these simple ways to keep allergies from time to time under control.
Limit your exposure to the causes of allergies
Reducing your exposure to substances that cause signs and symptoms of allergies to your body:
Stay indoors on dry, windy days. A good time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps to get the pollen out of the air.
Stop mowing the grass, pull weeds and other field activities that cause disease.
Remove the clothes you are wearing outside and wash to clean the pollen from your skin and hair.
Do not hang clothes outside – pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
Wear a pollen mask when performing outdoor activities.
Take additional steps when the pollen count is high
Signs and symptoms of seasonal allergies may arise when there is too much pollen in the air. These tactics can help you reduce your exposure:
Check your local TV or radio station, local newspaper, or Internet for pollen forecasts and current pollen levels.
When counting pollen counts, start taking anti-allergy medications prior to your symptoms starting.
Close the doors and windows at night time or at any other time when the pollen count is high.
Avoid outdoor activities in the early morning when pollen counts are very high.
Keep indoor air clean
There is no prescriptive drug that will stop the flow of allergies, though their effects can be curtailed. Use air conditioning in your home and car.
If you force cool air in your home, use filters that work best and follow regular maintenance schedules.
Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier. Use an effective particulate air filter (HEPA) in your bedroom. Wash the floor frequently with a HEPA filter.
Try the over the counter solution
Many types of unregistered drugs can help reduce the symptoms of allergies. Including:
Oral antihistamines. Antihistamines can help reduce sneezing, itching, runny nose and watery eyes.
Decongestants. Oral decongestants like pseudoephedrine can provide temporary relief from nasal congestion. Decongestants also come in nasal sprays, such as oxymetazoline (Afrin) and phenylephrine (Neo-Synephrine). Only use decongestants for a few days in a row. Prolonged use of exhaust nasal sprays can worsen the symptoms (recurrent congestion).
Nose spray. These can reduce the symptoms of allergies and has no side effects It works best if you start using it before your symptoms start.
Wash away your sinuses
Cleaning your passages with saline solution (nasal spray) is a quick, inexpensive and effective way to get rid of nasal congestion. Direct cleaning removes mucus and allergens from your nose.
Look for a squeezing bottle or neti bottle – a small bowl with a hem designed for cleaning the nose – at your pharmacy or health food store. Use refined, sterile, pre-boiled and cooled water, or filtered using a filter with a full pore size of 1 micron or less to make a salt irrigation solution. Also be sure to clean the irrigation device after each use with the same sterile, pre-boiled and cooled spray, or filtered water and leave it open to dry air.
Interested in alternative therapies? Think about this
Many natural remedies have been used to treat the symptoms of hay fever. Helpful treatments include extracts of shrub butterbur and spirulina (a type of dried algae). However, the benefits and safety are unclear.
Some people say that acupuncture may be helpful in the symptoms of seasonal allergies. There is some evidence that acupuncture works, and there is little evidence of injury.
Talk to your doctor before trying other treatments.
When home remedies are inadequate, consult your doctor.
For most people, avoiding allergies and taking prescription drugs is enough to reduce symptoms. But if you are still struggling with your time and energy, do not give up. There are other treatments available.
If you have an allergy to the time of year, your doctor may recommend that you have a skin test or a blood test to determine which diseases cause your symptoms. Testing can help you decide what steps you need to take to avoid your specific causes and determine which treatments may work best for you.
For some people, allergen shots (allergen immunotherapy) can be a good alternative. Also known as unwanted, this treatment involves regular injections containing a small number of substances that cause your allergies. Over time, these injections reduce the body’s immune response. In some allergies, treatment can be given as pills under the tongue.
If you’re one of the unlucky few that suffer from seasonal allergies it can often stop you from living your life to the full. This is especially sad when the weather is nice outside but you are stuck inside all alone. While you may have tried one or two of these solutions with no luck, it is certain that something on this list will help relieve your allergies. Put it the effort and stick to these solutions for a couple of weeks and track the progress to really see if they are making a difference.