If you suffer from spring allergies, this time of year is simply miserable for you. Your eyes and nose are constantly running, your ears are plugged, your throat is itchy, and you just want to stay inside for three months. While over-the-counter antihistamines and allergy sprays help, they merely cover the symptoms. We’ve found a few tips to helping you get through this season.
Know what you’re allergic to.
Many who have spring allergies assume they know what they’re allergic to, and they’re usually right. But what if you have multiple allergies, or you’re not sure what’s causing your symptoms?
Have an allergy test to find out. Here’s what WebMD has to say:
“’The allergy skin test is the quickest, most inexpensive, and most accurate way to find out what you are allergic to, whether it’s mold, grass pollen, or a type of weed,’ says Neil Kao, MD, an internal medicine physician specializing in allergy and immunology at the Allergic Disease and Asthma Center in Greenville, S.C.
Talk with your primary care doctor or an allergist. Both can give you an allergy test. The skin is pricked slightly to allow an allergen, such as grass or mold, to enter the outer layer; after about 15 to 20 minutes, the physician will check for a reaction, such as hives or redness and swelling, which will identify the specific allergen causing your symptoms.”
Watch the pollen counts.
If your local news doesn’t offer pollen counts daily, use the WebMD Pollen Counter to find out which allergens are high.You’ll know when it’s safe to be outside (the early morning and evening are the safest times to be out), and can plan your time accordingly.
Keep it clean.
In addition to any medications you choose, you can help your allergies by physically separating yourself from the allergens. During the day, keep windows closed to keep pollen out of your home. But what if you want or have to go out?
Dr. Kao from WebMD says, “After you come inside on a nice spring day, you are literally covered in allergens. You track it through your house, and worse, you get in bed covered with the pollen or grass spores that make you congested. Guess what? Now you are going to lie in it for eight hours and wake up feeling miserable.”
Washing and cleaning your home, bedding, and clothes will help keep your home’s pollen count down. Take a shower after you’ve been out and change into fresh clothes to prevent exposing others to pollen.
Keep it simple.
Sometimes all you need is a saline solution in your nose to wash out the allergies. A spray bottle or neti pot will help you keep your nostrils squeaky clean and suffer fewer bouts with runny nose and sneezing.
What are your best tips for dealing with spring allergies?