If you suffer from allergies, you’re not alone. About 50 million people in the United States are affected by nasal allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and researchers believe the incidence of allergies is increasing, with as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children affected.
Although there are many different types of allergens and some people experience year-round symptoms, spring is one of the most common times to be affected by seasonal allergies. This is thanks to the billions of tiny grains of pollen that are released by the budding trees, flowers and grasses at this time of the year.
Common symptoms of spring allergies include:
- Itchy, watery or swollen eyes
- Runny nose
- Sneezing and sniffling
- Stuffy nose
- Sore or scratchy throat
No one wants to be stuck indoors all the time just when the weather is started to get warm again so the key to enjoying the great outdoors is learning how to get some relief from your spring allergies. Aside from taking medications or going to the doctor for allergy shots, there are things you can do to make springtime more bearable even if you have seasonal allergies.
Here are some tips for reducing allergy symptoms:
- Limit time outdoors when pollen counts are high. Even though you don’t want to be cooped up inside when the weather is nice, you may want to pick and choose when you head out. Check pollen counts and stay indoors when they’re at their highest. Windy days can also aggravate symptoms.
- Take a shower. Once you head indoors, take a shower and wash your hair to get rid of any pollen stuck on you so you don’t track it around the house or allow it to get on your bedding.
- Change your clothes. You’ll also want to change your clothes once you get indoors and keep any clothing worn outside in a closed hamper until you can wash it. Kick your shoes off before you get in the door so you don’t track in outdoor allergens.
- Wipe paws of pets. If you’re a pet owner, this helps remove some of the allergens they may track in the house from outside. It may be best to limit close contact with pets that spend a lot of time outside if you find it triggers your allergy symptoms.
- Wash bedding weekly. Hot water is best for removing allergens.
- Keep windows closed. If seasonal allergies are getting the best of you, keep your windows closed so pollen is less likely to get in. Run your air conditioner and use a HEPA filter.
- Try saline. Try using a saline nasal rinse to help flush pollen from your nasal membranes. Gargling with salt water may help if your throat is scratchy or sore.
Hopefully with these tips, you can get back to enjoying the great outdoors while keeping your spring allergies at bay.