This time of year brings cheerful weather and outdoor fun but for many, it’s also the start of allergy season. Read on for tips to manage your symptoms and feel better.
Identify your triggers.
It isn’t enough to just watch the pollen count. You’ll also need to know when the plants that trigger your allergies are pollinating or blooming. In our area, tree allergy symptoms tend to appear in April or May, grass allergens peak from late May through July, and weed allergy symptoms are most prevalent mid-August.
Schedule outdoor activities when allergens are low.
You can still enjoy the outdoors during allergy season if you time it right. Pollen counts are lowest in the early morning and early evening so that’s when you should pencil in your time outdoors.
Freshen up when you get in.
After being outdoors, it’s important to shower right away, wash your hair, and change your clothing to remove allergens. Pets can also bring in pollen from the outdoors so be sure to bathe or wipe them down afterward.
Close your windows.
When your allergies are flaring up, it’s best to keep your home and vehicle windows shut and the air conditioning on. Your AC filters out allergens lingering in your air and helps you breathe easier. Don’t forget to change your HVAC filter often during allergy season.
Clean your soft surfaces.
Wash your bedding, pillows, and other soft surfaces in hot water to remove built up allergens. Children’s stuffed animals should be placed in the freezer in a Ziploc bag for 24 hours to remove dust mites which can trigger allergies and asthma.
Consider over-the-counter remedies.
Your pharmacy can recommend a good over-the-counter decongestant or antihistamine to ease your symptoms, without interfering with any other prescriptions you take. Decongestants help to relieve a stuff nose while antihistamines can tackle sniffles and itching.
Talk to your doctor.
Pesky allergy symptoms can take a big toll on your wellbeing. If you’re really suffering, an allergy specialist can prescribe medications that are longer-acting and non-sedating. If your symptoms are severe, you can also consider getting immunotherapy shots for long-term relief.
Call or stop into any of our locations to speak with a pharmacist.