Allergies pose a large problem for tens of millions of Americans. They can lead to anxiety and sick days for many individuals.
If left untreated, allergy symptoms can be troubling and you may find yourself avoiding certain things you love out of fear of having a reaction.
Read ahead how to protect yourself from bad allergies.
When is Allergy Season?
Goodbye seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and hello seasonal allergies!
Allergy season typically starts in spring and this is the worst season for most people. Seasonal allergies can continue through summer and fall.
However, there is evidence to predict longer and worsening allergies seasons with climate change.
How To Protect Yourself From Bad Allergies This Season
Here are some tips to avoid pollen and find seasonal allergies relief.
It is not ideal to let allergies dictate your hobbies and schedules but sometimes it’s necessary to avoid worsening symptoms.
There are certain times and places, like parks, that you can expect to have higher pollen counts. You should learn how to avoid pollen until you can get your symptoms under control.
Planning around Allergy Season
Some people can point to a certain period of the year when they can expect their allergies to be worse. As we mentioned, seasonal allergies typically occur in spring, summer, and early fall.
If you aren’t sure, speak with a doctor to help identify what kind of allergy you have. This way you can plan ahead for travel and the types of medications you may need.
Early Morning Highs
There is a certain degree of variation in the amount of detectable pollen in the air during the day.
Pollen counts tend to be the highest early in the morning and taper off by noon. More specifically, they are usually the highest between 5 AM and 10 AM. However, wet conditions may delay the peaks in pollen count until later in the day.
You might consider afternoon outdoor activities instead of morning ones. However, some plants do release pollen in the afternoon and at night so you should have a backup plan.
Capitals of Pollen
Many of the ‘Allergy Capitals’ of 2019, as designated by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), are located in the Southeastern United States.
Check out the list for yourself. If you have bad seasonal allergies you might want to consider not visiting these places during the spring.
While at Home
You don’t have to be in the woods or outside at all to suffer from seasonal allergies. You can also experience allergy symptoms in your own home.
Now that winter is coming to an end, you might be tempted to open the windows to let in some air. However, much of the pollen being released can easily make its way through the windows.
If you are worried about inviting outside pollen into your home, you should close your windows and use a device that circulates and filters the air. The same goes for when you are in the car.
Keep Your Home Clean
Having a clean and organized home and workplace can help you prevent allergies. Clean regularly to prevent the build-up of dust, mold, and other allergens.
Consider taking your shoes and jacket off as soon as you get home and keeping them in an area separate from your main living space. This is because you could be dragging allergens from outside into your household.
Finally, crumbs and other bits of food attract bugs. They can worsen allergies so keep things tidy.
Preparedness Is Key
No matter how careful you are, you are inevitably going to come in contact with allergens.
If you have a seasonal allergy, preparing during the off-season can help you recover quickly.
Staying Stocked Up
Remember that when allergy season is just around the corner, your local pharmacy is right around the corner, too.
Stock up on over-the-counter allergy drugs before your allergies really flare up. Antihistamine drugs, such as diphenhydramine and cetirizine counter simple allergic reactions and help you breathe easily. Some, such as diphenhydramine, cause drowsiness so you should speak to a pharmacist if you aren’t sure which over-the-counter options to consider.
Prefer not to take medications? Intranasal saline solution and saltwater gargles can help. They provide relief by helping to clean your sinuses and reduce inflammation.
In Case of Emergency
For most people who experience them, seasonal allergies cause extremely bothersome symptoms that interfere with daily lives. However, some people can have life-threatening reactions.
Rarely, a severe seasonal allergy can lead to difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis. This type of systemic reaction is more common with bee and peanut allergies, but it’s possible for pollen allergies.
The use of an EpiPen or emergency services may be necessary in these cases.
When to See a Doctor
Too many people suffer from seasonal allergies and put off seeing a doctor. You don’t necessarily have to see an allergy specialist to be treated for seasonal allergies.
Your doctor can confirm the diagnosis and identify the triggers. Sometimes, your symptoms could actually be due to asthma, infections, or something else.
Finally, your doctor could recommend certain allergy medications that are available only by prescription.
Taking on Allergy Season 2020
Allergy season is coming! Are you going to be better prepared this year?
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