Don’t Wait: Nip Your Allergies in the Bud Now - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on March 24, 2016

Don’t Wait: Nip Your Allergies in the Bud Now

Don’t Wait: Nip Your Allergies in the Bud Now

Crozer-Keystone allergists help to diagnose,
treat and manage seasonal allergies.

Spring means the flowers are blooming and you are sneezing. If you’re a spring allergy sufferer, the rebirth of flowers and trees is beautiful, but also the cause of sneezing, congestion, a running nose, itchy and watery eyes and a whole host of other annoying symptoms.

Just because spring has sprung doesn’t mean you’re doomed to struggle with your allergies. There are plenty of things you can do before the season starts and during it to breathe much easier.

Take Allergy Medicine

This may seem like a no-brainer, but some people prefer to wait it out to see if their spring allergies improve or go away. However, if you take antihistamine medication before your allergies start bugging you, they may ease your symptoms for the whole season.

When you take antihistamines on an as-needed basis, it’s not as effective if your symptoms have already started and gotten worse. If you start taking an over-the-counter antihistamine before pollen starts circulating through the air, it will reduce the amount of histamine in your body, lessening or potentially preventing your symptoms altogether. High allergy season usually kicks in when it reaches 60 degrees for about three to four days, which is typically early April.

In addition to antihistamines, you can also try decongestants or nasal sprays to relieve you from your stuffy nose.

Give Your Sinuses a Rinse

You can relieve your nasal congestion without medication – rinsing your nasal passages with saline solution directly flushes out mucus and allergens from your nose, plus it’s quick and inexpensive. You can purchase saline nasal spray at a pharmacy or you can make your own and use a squeeze bottle or neti pot.

Reduce Your Exposure to Triggers

Not only can you try to prevent your symptoms with medications, but you also prevent them by avoiding what causes them. That may mean staying inside while it’s dry and windy outside – the best time to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about your allergies is right after a rainstorm, which helps clean the pollen out of the air.

Consider wearing a pollen mask if you’re doing chores outside, especially mowing the lawn, pulling weeds and other gardening chores that stir up allergens. When you return inside, remove the clothes you were wearing and shower to rinse the pollen from your skin and hair. And avoid hanging your laundry to dry outside – pollen can stick to the clothes and linens you hang outside.

Keep the Air Inside Clean

As tempting as it can be to throw open your windows and let in the spring air and sun, know that you will also be letting pollen in. You can keep the air in your home clean and reduce the amount of allergens by using air conditioning – just remember to change the filter with the new season. You can also try using a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom, and cleaning your floors with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter.

Take Extra Precaution with the Pollen Count Is High

When there’s a lot of pollen in the air, your allergy symptoms can get even worse. Find out when the pollen count is predicted to be high by checking your local weather report. If they are expected to be high, make sure you start taking your allergy medicine before your symptoms kick in. Keep your windows closed and avoid going outside, if possible, in the early morning – that’s typically when the pollen count is highest.

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