Hay fever, also called allergic rhinitis, exhibits symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, congestion and more. Hay fever is extremely widespread. In 2021, approximately 81 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with hay fever.
Hay fever doesn’t need to stop you from enjoying outdoor exercises. Whether you prefer yoga in Clark Creek Park, kayaking at the lake or simply going for an afternoon walk around town, there are ways you can manage your allergies to make your outdoor exercise fun and stress-free. A couple of methods for improving your outdoor experience during hay fever season include:
- Identifying and avoiding your allergens
- Managing your allergy symptoms
Let’s examine each of these methods a little more closely.
Identifying and Avoiding Your Allergens
Allergens are the foreign substances that trigger your allergic reactions. Some allergens may be fairly obvious. For instance, if you experience a reaction at the park, you may be allergic to pollen. If you are unsure of the cause of your reactions, an allergist can perform a scratch test to identify the problematic allergens.
Once you have identified your allergens, you can put an avoidance plan into place. A couple of tips for avoiding allergens include:
- Checking for allergen counts. Most cities have systems in place to track the pollen and mold count in the area. If you suffer from these allergies, consider checking the pollen and mold count and plan your workouts for days when they are low.
- Checking wind speeds. Wind speeds have a direct effect on allergen travel. If it is a particularly windy day, you may find that your allergies are flaring up worse than usual. In this case, consider postponing your workout until the wind has died down.
- Shower after a workout. Showering after a workout will help rinse off allergens you may have encountered during exercise and prevent them from being transferred to your home.
Avoiding seasonal allergens entirely is not always possible. In these cases, knowing how to manage your allergy symptoms is essential.
Managing Your Allergy Symptoms
There are a couple of methods for managing your seasonal allergies, including but not limited to:
- Home remedies. Home remedies cannot suppress allergies, but they can help decrease inflammation and congestion to make symptoms less severe.
- Medication. Allergy medications are generally sold over the counter and may include decongestants, antihistamines, corticosteroids and more. You can try different medications or ask your allergy specialist which option is right for you.
- Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is the process of injecting small amounts of an allergy into the system repeatedly for several years, increasing the dosage over time. Allergy shots can help manage the severity of allergic reactions and make your outdoor exercise feel like a walk in the park.
Contact Willamette ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery today to speak to one of our specialists for more information on managing your allergies.
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