For those among us with allergies or asthma, spring is definitely the most challenging season because of the perfect storm that’s brewed with big changes in humidity and temperature, a much higher pollen count in the air, and if you take part in spring cleaning, all the fumes, dust, and spores that are lifted up also take their toll.
Spending every day with itchy eyes, headaches, congestion, and even a chronic bad mood. Things can look a bit bleak for some people around this time of the year, but with these tips, you can save yourself a ton of hassle (and sneezes) during the spring. They’re not the end-all, be-all answer on how to feel better from allergies that we wish, but they can definitely help.
First of all, make sure it’s allergies
There’s a point where it’s hard to tell between allergies and the symptoms of a cold, especially because of the change in temperature. Some of the telltale signs that you’re dealing with allergies and not a virus are if your congestion lasts for longer than two weeks, if your symptoms flare up after being exposed to triggers, and if your symptoms persist in the absence of a headache or a fever.
Try a saline nose rinse
Spores and pollen are two of the most common allergens prevalent during the spring season (also aptly called “allergy season”), so rinsing them out of your nose can help you ease the symptoms. Try a saline nasal rinse, whether sprayed or from a neti pot, or gargle salt water in case you have a scratchy throat.
Rinsing once or twice each day will help you minimize the irritation and prevent it from building up, thus making you feel worse.
Limit the time you spend outdoors
Like we mentioned above, pollen and spore are the biggest causes of allergies during the season, so it’s better to avoid spending too much time outside where trees and plants are releasing billions of these particles in the air. This is particularly true during windy days, so be careful of going on even the smallest of errands; whatever you can leave for tomorrow, do it.
It goes without saying that exercise, too, should be avoided outdoors. Try to adapt your routine for indoor practice, or change things up for a couple of weeks while peak pollen season is going on outside.
Take precautions if you have to go outdoors
If you really do have to step outside your home, then take all the necessary precautions to keep your allergies from flaring up too much. First of all, wear a mouth cover or a heavy scarf over your mouth and nose, and use your sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes. You can always ask your doctor what the best filter mask would be for you.
If you’re going to drive somewhere, keep your windows locked and don’t keep the doors open for too long while getting in or out. Once you’re back home, make sure to shower (or at least wash your hair), change your clothes and don’t leave the ones you went out with lying about.
Consider going for stronger symptom relief
If you suffer from chronic allergies or normally take meds to relieve your symptoms, the usual stuff might not be strong enough during this season. Consider visiting your doctor to ask what meds are better suited for you as allergy relief, or visit your local drugstore for a temporary over-the-counter solution, particularly antihistamines and decongestants.
Whatever you choose, remember not to take more than the recommended dose even if your allergies keep flaring up. Contact your doctor instead and ask for another dose or a different option.
Ba savvy with spring cleaning
If waiting for spring to do some cleaning, then remember not to use cleaning products that are too harsh or irritant, because the damage is twofold; first, the fumes alone will give you red eyes, an itchy throat and maybe even a headache; second, you’ll need to properly ventilate the area, which will, in turn, bring in pollen from the outside.
So there you have them, our “how to survive spring allergies tips. Spring cleaning, in particular, can be hard to get around if you’re particularly prone to allergies, both in and out of season, so maybe it’s time to trust an expert and just get that concern (and all those sneezes) out of your head.