As the sun begins to warm the earth after a long winter and flowers begin to bloom, there arrives a horde of airborne particles to assault your senses.
April and May can be the worst time of the year for people with seasonal allergies. The good news is there are ways you can prepare yourself to lessen the impact of pollen, dust and mold spores on your nose, eyes and throat.
1. Change your routine
If you typically spend a lot of time in the open air, whether it's going for a walk or exercising, change things up. Instead, head to the gym or recreation center to do your exercise.
2. Start taking your allergy medicine early
If you usually wait until your nose is congested and your eyes are watery before you begin taking your allergy medicine, you may be too late. Some doctors recommend their patients begin taking allergy medicine before allergy season begins. Doing so can turn a terrible experience into one of mild discomfort.
3. Change your clothes when you get home
As you're walking around outside, pollen and mold spores cling to your clothing. As soon as you get home, kick off your shoes at the door and change your clothes to avoid spreading allergens throughout your home. Also consider taking a quick shower to rinse off anything that may be clinging to your hair and skin.
4. Wear sunglasses
Wearing a pair of large sunglasses when you're outdoors can block pollen from entering your eyes and eyelids. Upon arriving home, after changing your clothes, consider rinsing out your eyes to remove any pollen that may have made its way past your shades.
5. Wear a mask
If you need to spend time in your garden or mowing your lawn, the chances of your allergies acting up will only increase. Wearing a surgical mask while in the yard can significantly decrease contact with allergen particles.
6. Use saline to clear out your nose
If you've already begun feeling the effects of your allergies, try a saline rinse — either with a nasal irrigation device like a Neti pot or with a nasal spray — to cleanse your nasal membranes. It may not completely solve your problems, but it can minimize symptoms. Make sure to use proper safety procedures to avoid an infection.
7. Open your windows strategically
If you're allergic to indoor allergens like mold spores and dust, opening your windows to the warm spring air can help clear them out. If, however, you are allergic to pollen, avoid opening your windows until the high season is over. Instead, consider turning on the air conditioner early to filter the outside air.
For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, the best thing about them is their predictability. Keeping an eye on allergen levels in your area and using strategies like those above can help minimize the pain and symptoms.
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