10 Tips to Get Ahead of Spring Allergies
Spring brings warm weather and blooming flowers. While most people excitedly await the end of winter, for people with pollen allergies the beauty of spring can bring a host of not-so-wonderful symptoms.
Pollen from grass, trees, and weeds is the leading cause of spring allergies. These plant substances travel in the air, eliciting a histamine reaction in your body if you have allergies. This allergic reaction causes symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes that can make life uncomfortable for several months.
Our team at Chicago Immediate Care knows how bothersome sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes can be for springtime allergy sufferers.
We share these 10 tips to help you get ahead of allergies and breathe easier this spring.
1. Check local weather reports
Weather reports include expected pollen counts for the day. Certain factors, like wind and humidity influence how much pollen, is in the air. Check reports online, on TV, or on your favorite app to learn when pollen counts are expected to be high.
2. Stay inside when pollen counts are high
When pollen counts are high, it means there is more pollen in the air. High pollen counts may make your spring allergies worse, so it is best to stay indoors. Consider taking allergy medication ahead of time when weather reports indicate high pollen counts.
In general, pollen is at its lowest in the late afternoon and evening. Rain also lowers pollen counts, so you may be able to enjoy the outdoors without suffering allergy symptoms after it rains.
3. Avoid yard work
Household chores like mowing the grass, weeding the garden, or trimming trees can stir up pollen in the air. Finding someone who doesn’t have pollen allergies to do these tasks can help you manage your allergy symptoms. If you can not avoid yard work, be sure to wear a pollen mask to limit pollen inhalation.
4. Bathe pets regularly
Dogs and cats that go outside can bring pollen and other allergens into your home. Pollen clings to their fur, and they spread it throughout your house when they come indoors. If you have pets that spend time outside, bathing them regularly helps wash away pollen.
5. Change your clothes when you go indoors
Pets can bring pollen indoors — and so can you. If you spend time outside, pollen can collect on your jacket, shirt, and pants. Changing into clean clothes when you come back in helps minimize your contact with pollen.
6. Keep your home clean
Take steps to ensure the air in your home is as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible and use the air conditioner. Consider installing air filters to catch the pollen and other allergens and be sure to wash bedding and other soft surfaces regularly.
7. Take allergy medication before symptoms start
No matter how careful you are, it is impossible to completely avoid pollen. Find an antihistamine medication that works for you and start taking it as prescribed at the beginning of allergy season. Antihistamines calm your body’s response to pollen and can reduce sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose.
8. Consider nasal irrigation
A common symptom of spring allergies that can be particularly bothersome is nasal congestion. Nasal irrigation is a non-drug treatment that involves flushing your sinuses out with a sterile saline solution. The process cleans out allergens and excess mucus. Be sure to follow guidelines for nasal irrigation, including cleaning the saline-containing device as directed.
9. Find a decongestant that works for you
Decongestant medications come in the form of oral pills and nasal sprays. These medications can reduce nasal congestion and discomfort that often come with spring allergies. Always follow the dosage directions on medication packaging and check with your health care team before combining medications.
10. Make a primary care appointment
Our experts are here to help you survive spring allergies. If you are not sure what type of allergy medication is right for you, or you aren’t getting enough relief from symptoms, we can offer solutions that work during your primary care appointment.
There are treatment options that go beyond over-the-counter allergy medicines, and we can help you find the right medication and lifestyle changes to keep your allergy symptoms in check.
You don’t have to suffer through another allergy season with uncontrolled symptoms. Book your first appointment with us online, call ahead, or just walk in to find out how you can get ahead of spring allergies this year. We have offices in Lincolnwood, Lisle, and Lombard, Illinois.