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Beating Seasonal Allergies

Beating Seasonal Allergies

January 27, 2024
Beating Seasonal Allergies

Summer can pose challenges for individuals coping with allergies and asthma. Alongside enjoyable activities like beach outings and barbecues, the season ushers in allergens, elevated pollen levels, humid conditions, mold, and sweltering heat. 

What are seasonal allergies?

Seasonal allergies, often known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, are caused by the immune system’s reaction to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. Common triggers include:

·      tree pollen in spring

·      grass pollen in late spring and early summer

·      weed pollen in late summer and fall

Seasonal allergies symptoms

Hallmark symptoms of seasonal allergies include:

·      Sneezing

·      runny or stuffy nose

·      itchy or watery eyes

·      fatigue

·      Throat irritation

·      Coughing

·      skin reactions like eczema

Ways to Beat Seasonal Allergies

Before you settle for synthetic flowers and artificial turf, try these basic tactics for managing seasonal allergies.

1.  Reduce your exposure to allergens.

Reduce your exposure to the things that cause your allergy symptoms and indications (allergens):

·      Minimize outdoor exposure on dry, windy days. Opt for outdoor activities after rainfall to clear pollen. 

·      Refrain from lawn mowing, weed pulling, and gardening tasks that stir up allergens. 

·      Change outdoor clothes and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair. 

·      Avoid hanging laundry outside, as pollen can adhere to sheets and towels. Consider wearing a face mask for outdoor chores.

2.  Maintain Clean Indoor Air

While there’s no magic solution to eliminate all allergens, these tips can help:

·      Utilize air conditioning in your home and car. 

·      Keep indoor air dry by using a dehumidifier. 

·      For forced air heating or air conditioning, employ high-efficiency filters and adhere to regular maintenance.

·      Install a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom. Regularly clean floors with a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter.

3. Take Over-the-Counter Medications

Several nonprescription medications can help alleviate allergy symptoms:

·      Oral antihistamines: Helps relieve itching, sneezing, watery eyes, and a congested or runny nose. Common examples include:

o   cetirizine 

o   loratadine 

o   fexofenadine 

·      Corticosteroid nasal sprays: Helps improve nasal symptoms. Popular options include:

o   fluticasone propionate 

o   triamcinolone 

o   budesonide 

·      Oral decongestants: Offer temporary relief from nasal congestion. Some allergy medications combine an antihistamine with a decongestant. Examples include:

o   cetirizine-pseudoephedrine

o   fexofenadine-pseudoephedrine 

o   loratadine-pseudoephedrine

·      Cromolyn sodium nasal spray: Eases allergy symptoms by blocking immune system agents that trigger symptoms. It works best when taken before exposure to allergens. It is generally considered a safe treatment, though it may require use 4 to 6 times daily. 

Understand Your Allergies, Understand Your Body

Allergies and their symptoms vary widely from person to person. While an allergen may trigger a dry cough in one individual, another might experience a severe anaphylactic shock. 

If you suspect an allergic reaction, pay close attention to your body. This awareness can help identify the trigger and its symptoms.

To prepare for seasonal allergies and find an effective treatment, consult with an allergist for an allergy test. A simple skin test can swiftly identify your specific allergens.

Once the allergy test is complete, your allergist can devise a personalized treatment plan, which may include tailored immunotherapy treatments or allergy shots – often considered the closest thing to an allergy cure. 

Make the most of your summer by tackling allergies head-on with these tips. If you’re ready to enjoy the season, schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified allergists.

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