In many parts of the world, peak allergy season doesn’t come and go with the spring flowers. Depending on the climate where you live, you might be dealing with allergies all year long. When there’s pollen in the air, a stuffy nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes are not far behind. These attacks can be downright miserable. Luckily, the following five tips can help you manage your hay fever to keep your suffering to a minimum.
1. Pay Attention to Daily Pollen Counts
The amount of pollen in the air changes every day. Just like you track the weather when you’re making outdoor plans, you should also be checking the pollen counts. Many local television and newspaper weather reports include this information, and it’s also available on many weather websites and apps. The Weather Channel has an allergy forecast to check the pollen levels in your area as well.
On days where pollen levels are high, try to stay inside as much as possible. That is especially true in the early morning when the pollen counts are highest. If you’re doing laundry, don’t air-dry your clothes outside. For those who can’t avoid being outside, wear a mask covering your nose and mouth. Any COVID-19 mask works to filter out some pollen, though you might consider buying a special pollen mask, which is even more effective.
2. Don’t Let Pollen Into Your Home
Both on high-pollen days and in general, keeping pollen out of your home can be of assistance if you suffer from allergies to pollen, ragweed, and other natural substances. First and foremost, this means keeping your doors and windows closed. Taking your shoes off at the door, changing into house clothes, and keeping flowers from the garden or florist outside are great ways to keep pollen out of your house.
However, no matter what you do, some pollen is inevitably going to get inside. Running an air purifier and using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter for forced-air heating and air conditioning can help with this. A HEPA filter traps minuscule allergens. The most important place to keep an air purifier is in the bedroom (where you sleep). Use one with a HEPA filter to ensure the air is clean. Another way to keep the air in your home allergen-free is to remove the moisture with a dehumidifier.
3. Rinse Out Your Sinuses Regularly
No one who suffers from seasonal allergies should ever go too long without rinsing out their sinuses. Irrigating your nasal passages with a saline solution flushes out the allergens and mucus right then and there. It’s an inexpensive and natural way to keep allergy attacks at bay.
To rinse out your sinuses, follow the steps below:
- Boil one cup of water for at least 10 minutes. Let the water cool.
- Combine three teaspoons of non-iodized salt and one teaspoon of baking soda. Mix one teaspoon of the mixture into the water and let it dissolve.
- Fill the bulb of a rubber bulb syringe with the liquid mixture.
- Tilt your head forward and to one side so that one nostril is directly above the other. Now squeeze roughly half of the liquid from the bulb into your top nostril. As your nose fills, keep breathing through your mouth to allow the liquid to flow down and out of your lower nostril.
- Repeat step four on the opposite side.
- When you are finished, store the remaining powder mixture for next time. Clean your rubber bulb syringe with sterilized water (that has been boiled and cooled) and let it air dry.
4. Keep Your Home Clean
As mentioned, allergens have a pesky way of sneaking into your home, even when you do your best not to let them in. As such, if you suffer from seasonal allergies, it’s critical to keep your house clean if you want to keep them under control. Get a HEPA filter for your vacuum so that you’re getting rid of allergens instead of just moving them around. Make sure you’re vacuuming about twice a week.
Another way to ensure you’re not harboring allergens in your home is to get rid of clutter. That is where dust mites and allergies like to hide. Furthermore, you should wash your sheets with hot water once a week. Last, use a damp towel and mop when cleaning. That traps allergens instead of pushing them around.
5. Take Allergy Medicine Sooner Rather Than Later
Ignoring symptoms like a stuffy nose or a few sneezes can be a recipe for disaster if you suffer from seasonal allergies. Once the symptoms worsen, it can be harder to control them. Many doctors recommend taking allergies proactively to avoid allergy attacks. What’s more, if you’re experiencing bad allergies often, you can minimize the symptoms by taking allergy medication daily.
There are many kinds of allergy medications, including oral antihistamines (loratadine, fexofenadine, and cetirizine), nasal steroid sprays, and decongestants (pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, and oxymetazoline). Some oral antihistamines can make you drowsy, so try taking them at night instead of in the morning, especially if you’re using a 24-hour allergy pill. This way, the drowsiness effects that you feel won’t interfere with your daily activities. Oral antihistamines can be taken safely long-term. On the other hand, taking nasal decongestants for more than a few days consecutively can end up worsening your symptoms in a rebound effect when the decongestant wears off.
Many allergy medicines are available over the counter. You can find the best deals in your area by using a prescription savings card company like ScriptSave® WellRx. Talk to your physician about the allergy medication of your choice. With a prescription, ScriptSave WellRx can save you up to 80 percent on the cost of your allergy meds.