Springtime is a beautiful season filled with blooming flowers, warmer weather, and longer days. Unfortunately for many of us, it also brings along seasonal allergies. Sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes, and a runny nose are just a few of the symptoms that can make life miserable. But fear not! You can use some easy tricks to keep spring allergies at bay and enjoy the season to its fullest.
Check the pollen count in your area
Before heading outside for work or any other activity, check the pollen count in your neighborhood. Many weather websites and apps provide this information. When the pollen count is high, try to stay indoors as much as possible, especially during the morning hours when pollen levels tend to be at their peak. If you must go outside, wear a mask to reduce the amount of pollen you inhale.
Keep your windows closed
As much as you might love the fresh air, keeping your windows closed during allergy season can help keep pollen out of your home. Use an air conditioner or fans to cool your house instead of opening windows. Be sure to change the filter in your air conditioner regularly to help trap allergens optimally.
Shower before bed
Pollen can cling to your hair and skin, so take a shower before bed to remove any pollen that may have accumulated throughout the day. This can help prevent allergens from settling in your bedding which could trigger allergy symptoms while you sleep.
Clean your home regularly
Regular cleaning can help reduce the amount of pollen in your home. Dust and vacuum frequently, and use a HEPA filer in your vacuum to trap allergens. Wash your bedding and curtains in hot water regularly. If possible, use allergen-proof covers for your pillows and mattress.
Use natural remedies to keep allergies at bay
Many natural remedies can help alleviate allergy symptoms. One of the most effective is honey. Eating local honey can help desensitize your body to pollen over time, reducing your allergy symptoms. Other natural remedies include include saline nasal sprays, which can help flush out pollen from your nasal passages, and nettle tea, which has natural antihistamine properties.
Always stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of clean water can help thin mucus. It can also help to prevent dehydration, which can worsen allergy symptoms. Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water daily, and try to avoid dehydrating beverages like coffee and alcohol.
Over-the-counter allergy medications can effectively reduce symptoms if natural remedies don't provide enough relief. Antihistamines like Claritin and Zyrtec can help relieve sneezing, itching, and runny nose. Nasal sprays like Flonase and Nasonex can help reduce inflammation in your nasal passages, making breathing easier. But remember to talk to your doctor before starting any new medication.
If your allergies are severe, you may want to consider visiting an allergist. An allergist can perform tests to determine precisely what you are allergic to and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Exercise is vital for overall health, but it's best to exercise indoors during allergy season. If you head outside, pollen levels are typically highest in the morning, so try to exercise later in the day when pollen counts are lower. If you exercise outdoors, remember that pollen levels are lower after it rains as well.
Spring allergies can be a nuisance, but there are many ways to keep them at bay. By following these tips, you can enjoy all the wonders of spring without the bothersome allergy symptoms. Happy spring!