According to a 2018 report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seasonal allergies affect 19.2 million adults and 5.2 million children in the United States. If you’re among that number then you understand how uncomfortable seasonal allergies can be. As the seasons change, you brace yourself for weeks of scratchy throats, sneezing and other annoying symptoms.
Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever are triggered by pollen that floats in the air in particular seasons. Although pollen on its own is harmless, your body’s immune system sees it as a threat. Your immune system then goes into defence mode by producing antibodies and histamines to fend off the intruders. As a result, you end up with symptoms such as runny nose, congestion and coughs.
Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate these symptoms. For starters, you should visit your doctor so that you can be adequately prepared for seasonal allergies. At Trailhead Clinic we have a roster of doctors and other healthcare professionals who can treat your seasonal allergies and other health conditions. Moreover, we look forward to answering all your questions so that you can plan accordingly. In this article, we share tips on how you can control and cope with seasonal allergies.
Ways to Manage Seasonal Allergies on Your Own
Seasonal allergies should not get in the way of your everyday activities. Below are tips you can use to keep the symptoms at bay:
Give Yourself a Headstart Before Seasonal Allergies Appear
You aren’t doing yourself any favors by waiting to take your meds when your symptoms start or when the season changes. There are several over-the-counter medications that you can consider. Many doctors recommend that you start with nasal steroid sprays like Nasonex (with a prescription) or Flonase as a preventative measure.
When the season kicks off you can take decongestants and antihistamines such as cetirizine and combination medications that contain phenylephrine and acetaminophen and diphenhydramine. While antihistamines are generally safe for long-term use, decongestants should be used sparingly and not daily as they can cause secondary issues like hypertension or rebound symptoms.
Some allergy medications come with unwanted side effects, such as drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion. Take your antihistamine at a consistent time every day (before bedtime if you have asthma as well as seasonal allergies) and continue for the duration of the season.
Reduce Your Exposure to Pollen
While there may be a lot of pollen in the air, you can avoid it by:
- Leaving your shoes at the door after spending time outdoors
- Changing your clothes as soon as you get home
- Showering before going to bed to remove pollen from your body
- Keeping your pets out of your bed. Even if you aren’t allergic to pets, they will have pollen on their coats
- Using hypoallergenic encasements for your mattress and pillows. Also, wash sheets in hot soapy water every week and use a dryer instead of hanging them outside.
- Using an air conditioner with a HEPA filter to cool your home in the summer instead of ceiling fans.
It would also be helpful to check your local weather network for pollen forecasts so that you can stay indoors when pollen counts are high.
Be Smart While Traveling
Why should seasonal allergies derail your plans to see the world? When planning your trip, ensure that you research your destination to find out what allergens are present in the air. Furthermore, keep the windows closed and the air conditioning on while at the hotel or resort.
Rules also apply if you are going on a road trip:
- Turn on the air conditioning at least 10 minutes before you leave
- Head out early in the morning or late evening so that you face less air pollution
- Recirculate the air in your vehicle so that you don’t vent in pollen
Consider Allergy Immunotherapy to Treat Seasonal Allergies
If you’ve had enough of the symptoms then talk to your doctor about allergy immunotherapy. Once a month you’ll be injected with a small amount of the pollen that you’re allergic to. The dose will be gradually increased to help you develop some immunity over six months to a year.
Seasonal Allergies Treatments Available in Colorado
With these tips, you should be able to effectively manage your seasonal allergies. If all else fails you should consider visiting the doctors at Trailhead Clinics. We offer membership packages that cover a comprehensive range of illnesses such as seasonal allergies. Contact us at any of our offices to make an appointment:
Grand Junction – 970-644-5999 and firstname.lastname@example.org
Montrose – 970-240-8199 and email@example.com
Glenwood Springs – 970-404-8700 and firstname.lastname@example.org