Spring is almost here. And summer right behind it.
While we all can’t wait for the warmth from the sun, the blooming flowers, and the rest of the splendors that these seasons bring, pollen allergies can affect your quality of life! Spring brings tree pollen season (February through April), while summer brings grass pollen season (May through July).
Those who suffer from pollen allergies can have a tough time during these seasons. Pollen allergies can wreak havoc on your eyes, nose, ears and throat- causing sneezing, itchy, red watery eyes, itchy ears, itchy, sniffly, stuffy nose, and/or itchy throat.
Making sure that you are prepared during your allergy season will help you to fully enjoy all your favorite activities.
- Keep your windows closed. While it’s tempting to open your windows to catch a nice breeze, open windows can allow pollens to come into your home and cause your allergies to flare up.
- Consider doing a sinus rinse (an example is Neil med sinus rinse). Rinsing your sinuses one to two times per day with a saltwater solution can reduce symptom like nasal congestion, runny nose or postnasal drip.
- After being outdoors, make sure to bathe/shower and change clothes right away.
- Consider using a corticosteroid nasal spray. Examples include Flonase, Nasonex, Nasocort, or Rhinocort (or generic versions). This is the best medicinal protection you have against allergy symptoms. The ideal time to start this treatment is a few weeks prior to the pollen season and they should be used daily throughout the season.
- An oral antihistamine can also help protect you from allergy symptoms. This is a good addition to the corticosteroid nasal spray. You can use this daily during the allergy season or when needed (like before an outdoor activity). Examples of generally non-sedating oral antihistamines include Zyrtec (cetirizine), Xyzal (levocetirizine), Allegra (fexofenadine), and Claritin (loratadine).
Even though most people can combat their allergies using the above treatments, others still struggle to find relief. If your symptoms continue to be poorly controlled, please don’t hesitate to come see your local, friendly allergist! Seeing your allergist will help you determine what you are allergic to and create a more detailed plan of attack against your allergies.
Best of luck as you pursue a symptom-free spring and summer!
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