07
November
2012

Seasonal allergies: How to deal with them

Find out what could be causing your allergies, and how to handle them

Whether the leaves are falling or the flowers are blooming, there are always seasonal allergies that affect people every turn of every season. The drastic change from the heat of summer to the crisp, dry air, or the warming of the atmosphere and pollinating flowers not only establish a new season, but also means runny noses, itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and wheezing for many. Although seasonal allergies can be extremely uncomfortable and annoying, they can also be relieved easily. Check out this list of remedies to alleviate your discomfort and pain so that you can once and for all enjoy the changing leaves, first snowfall, and budding, fresh scented flowers.
Prevention
The change in the atmosphere, weather, and plant and animal life from one season to the next, signals the onset of seasonal allergies that affects millions of Americans in varying degrees. The first step to avoiding the onset of your allergies is to minimize your exposure to the common triggers of your allergies:
  • Stay indoors on windy days
  • Enjoy the outside weather after a rainy day when the pollen has been cleared
  • Avoid outside chores such as gardening, lawn mowing, and weed pulling (or wear a dust mask if you do outside chores)
  • Wash clothes you have worn outside frequently, and wash your hands often
  • Check pollen levels and start taking allergy medication before symptoms begin if pollen counts are forecasted high
  • Keep doors and windows closed with high pollen levels
  • Avoid early morning outdoor activities when pollen counts are high
  • Use air conditioning (with high efficiency filters) in your car and home to keep allergens out of the air
  • Vacuum often
  • Dehumidify your home to keep the air dry
Treatment
It is not always possible to prevent seasonal allergy symptoms. If you find yourself suffering, you can take advantage of over-the-counter medications that are available to help relieve your symptoms.
Oral Antihistamines
These medicines will reduce sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose.
Decongestants
These will aid in alleviating nasal congestion and stuffiness.
Nasal spray
This will help to reduce symptoms and discomfort.
Nasal rinsing
This normally consists of a distilled saline solution that will rid you of mucus and allergens and will decongest your nose.
When to see a doctor
If none of these remedies or medications work for you and your allergies are still affecting you in full swing, there are other options available. Getting skin and blood tests taken can identify which allergens are specifically affecting you. You can then focus more directly on taking action against those specific triggers. There are also allergy shots, a treatment known as desensitization, which entails regular injections of a small amount of what is causing your allergies.
What to do next
Seasonal allergies are a very normal occurrence, and they usually don't require any medical assistence. It is often possible to overcome allergies by removing the allergen from your environment, or by taking over the counter allergy medication. However, some allergy cases are very severe and can not be handled without the help of a doctor. If you find that your allergy symptoms are too severe or are not cured by removing the allergen or taking medication, see your doctor.
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Categories: Allergies

Sarah Butler, Amanda Maynes

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