5 Tips for Managing Seasonal Allergies
It’s that time of year again. The weather is getting warmer, flowers are blooming, and spring allergies have sprung upon us. Seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, are triggered when trees, grasses and weeds release pollen into the air. When we inhale this pollen, it can bring on allergy symptoms like sneezing, coughing, runny nose, headaches, and itchy eyes.
Plants are all around us, so it’s hard to avoid pollen completely. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to limit your exposure. Use these five tips to better manage your seasonal allergies and keep your symptoms under control.
- Notice what season your allergies start in. Most often, when you get spring allergies, you’re allergic to tree pollen. Summer allergies are typically caused by grass and weed pollen, while fall allergies are often caused by ragweed.
- Limit your time outdoors. Stay indoors in an air conditioned space as much as possible during allergy season. Keep the windows and doors closed to prevent pollen from getting in your home or car.
- Time it right. When it’s hot, dry and windy, there’s likely to be more pollen in the air. Pollen counts also are higher in the morning between 5-10 AM. Consider saving outdoor activities for later in the afternoon. On days that are cool, damp and/or rainy, pollen gets washed to the ground, which helps to lessen its effects, making it another good time to get outside.
- Protect yourself. When you do have to go outside, protect your eyes from airborne pollen with glasses or sunglasses. Change out of clothes that you’ve worn outside when you get home, and take a shower to remove pollen from your hair and skin. This will prevent you from spreading pollen around your home.
- See your primary care provider. When seasonal allergies start to interfere with your daily life, it may be time to visit your doctor to identify what specific allergens are triggering your symptoms. This information will help your doctor to select the best plan for treatment and management, which could include taking allergy medications when the pollen count is high.