Provided by Patient First
As the weather warms up, do you find yourself suffering from springtime allergies? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one dreading the sneezing and the sniffling.
“Seasonal allergies are very common for this time of year, and it is important to know the symptoms, the steps to reduce allergy symptoms, and when to seek urgent care for allergies,” says Dr. Mark Paster, a Patient First Medical Director.
Here are some helpful tips and information on allergies and how to prevent them.
What are allergies?
Allergic reactions occur when your body comes into contact with an allergen. Your body identifies this substance as harmful, even when it is not. Then, when you come into contact with that allergen again, it reacts to it, causing allergy symptoms. Springtime allergies are most often due to tree pollen and in areas with more humid climates, outdoor mold. Grass pollen is a big cause of summer allergies, while weed pollen can bring on fall allergies.
What are the symptoms?
Allergy symptoms vary from person to person and depend on the particular allergy. Some common symptoms include itchy, watery eyes; sneezing; runny nose; and congestion. If your seasonal allergies are generally mild, nasal sprays and oral antihistamines can help manage the symptoms. If over-the-counter treatments do not reduce your symptoms, talk with a physician about a prescription or other treatment.
What steps can be taken to reduce allergy symptoms?
- Start taking over-the-counter antihistamines when high pollen counts are forecast, even before your symptoms start.
- Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
- Keep windows and doors closed – Restricting the amount of outside air that comes into your home may help those with airborne allergen sensitivities.
- Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
- After spending time outside, take a shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair and put on clean clothes.
- Wear a face mask if you do outside chores
- Use air conditioning in your house and car.
- Use high-efficiency air filters and change them frequently.
- Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
- Finally, do a deep cleaning of your home every spring.