Relief for Allergy Sufferers: Six Do’s and Don’ts for Battling Allergies This Season
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Spring has sprung, and for many allergy sufferers, the warmer weather has brought with it a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, coughing, and other unpleasant symptoms. Unfortunately, due to the long winter in many locations, allergies have the potential to be especially bad this year because many different trees and plants are pollinating all at once.
If you’re one of the 50 million trying to overcome nasal allergies this spring, here are a few do’s and don’ts to get you through the season:
Do keep an eye on pollen counts. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology’s National Allergy Bureau provides daily allergy readings for every state.
Via Flickr – by coniferconifer
Don’t go outside between 5:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Pollen counts peak during these hours. So, if possible, limit your time outdoors during this period each day.
Do try an antihistamine. For many, antihistamines are the first thing they try when allergy season hits. And usually they work quite well. Even better, antihistamines such as Benadryl, Claritin, and Zyrtec, are available over the counter.
Don’t take a decongestant. When you’re sneezing, coughing, and dealing with a runny nose, a decongestant seems like a good solution. However, they just aren’t effective with allergies. And as this Time.com article notes, they could make them worse.
Do try a HEPA filter. Whether they’re being used in a breathing mask worn while you’re outdoors or in your vacuum cleaner, high efficiency particulate air (or HEPA) filters can help reduce allergy symptoms. These filters clean the air you breathe by catching harmful particles, like pollen.
Via Flickr – by Chris Costes
Don’t bring pollen indoors. Of course, you won’t be able to completely avoid bringing pollen and other allergy-worsening particles indoors, but you can take steps to keep those intrusions to a minimum. When you come inside, leave your shoes by door. Change clothes right away, and if possible, take a shower to wash allergens out of your hair and off your skin.
If your symptoms are especially bad and no over-the-counter treatments seem to help, you should see a doctor. They’ll be able to zero in on exactly which allergens are causing you pain and will help you get some much-needed relief.