Between the blossoming flowers on the trees in town and getting to visit outdoor public hot spots again, who doesn’t love summer? If you have seasonal allergies, you may think that the runny nose, sneezing and itching makes this time miserable, but it doesn’t have to. Below we provide tips to help you manage your environmental allergies so you can stop and smell the flowers without the unpleasant side-effects.
Reduce Exposure to Environmental Allergens
The allergens around us are substances that are normally harmless, unless you have specific allergies, in which case your immune system thinks they are invaders and produces histamine to fight them off. Histamine is a chemical that causes your allergy symptoms.
To reduce your exposure to allergens, we recommend…
- Staying inside on windy days. Allergens can be carried on the wind for miles. The best time to enjoy the outdoors is right after it has rained, as this clears pollen from the air.
- After spending time outside, change your clothes and rinse off in the shower right away.
- When doing outdoor chores, wear a pollen mask. If possible, delegate chores like mowing the lawn and pulling weeds to someone without allergies or hire a professional.
- Avoid hanging laundry outside to dry, as it will collect pollen.
- Check your local forecast for pollen counts. Stay indoors on days when pollen counts are expected to be high and avoid spending time outside in the early morning when counts are highest.
Keep an Allergen-Free Home
Unfortunately, there’s no way to ensure your home stays completely free of allergens. However, there are measures you can take to reduce the number of allergens within your house:
- If you have air conditioning, turn it on when pollen counts are high.
- If you have forced air heating or cooling, use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, and be sure to change them regularly.
- If you don’t have forced air, install a portable HEPA filter in your bedroom.
- Regularly dust, vacuum your floors and wash your curtains and bedding.
While these strategies can help, immunotherapy is usually the best strategy for long-term allergy relief. Our allergy team can design a treatment plan suited to your needs. Call us today to schedule an appointment.