Spring can be such a beautiful time of year. Flowers are blooming and birds are singing, yet you’re left sneezing and wheezing. Why?
In the spring, there are often extreme temperature changes, so it can be tough to tell if you’re sick from a common cold, virus, or seasonal allergies (aka “hay fever”).
Allergies can develop at any point in one’s life, so it’s possible that you’ve developed a new pollen allergy that wasn’t there before — with symptoms that may include sneezing, runny nose, congestion, itchy eyes, and fatigue.
The best way to prevent allergic reactions to tree and grass pollen is to avoid these as much as possible. By reducing your exposure and staying indoors, you’re less likely to get sick. Of course, staying cooped up indoors isn’t always realistic, so here are a few other preventive measures you can take:
Make Your Home a Sanctuary
- Make your home an allergen-safe zone by keeping it clean! Remember to change your clothes after entering the house, and leave your shoes at the door.
- Use air conditioning to stay cool instead of opening a door or window. This will keep the allergens contained outside as much as possible. You can also use a dehumidifier and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to keep the indoor air dry and clean.
- Pollen sometimes gets lost in the wind and clings to our hair and clothing, so use a pillow cover and wash your bed sheets often.
Don’t Line Dry
- Pollen and mold spores cling to clothing much easier when exposed to the elements. Instead of using a clothing line, dry your garments inside with a clean drying machine.
Pets Carry Allergens, Too!
- Your pets travel everywhere. From the yard to the couch, to your lap, allergens travel with them! When you let your pet roam about, allergens can sneak into your home. Aim to keep your pet bathed and away from fabric-covered furniture or carpet as much as possible.
- Antihistamines are over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that block histamines, a chemical found in your body’s cells that causes many allergy symptoms. These drugs are most effective when taken well before symptoms begin. After congestion has started, they serve as a minimal neutralizer to your symptoms. If you require alternate medication, you should visit your doctor for prescription allergy medicine.
Pay Attention to the Pollen Report
- Cloudy with a chance of pollen? Tune in to your local TV or radio station or check online for pollen forecasts and the safest times of day to go outside.
- If the forecast predicts high counts of pollen, you can start taking allergy drugs before your symptoms even start.
Once allergy symptoms have begun and you’ve crossed the line from healthy to sick, there are decongestants, nasal sprays, allergy shots, saline sprays, and other forms of medication that can help. Allergies should be taken seriously and not left untreated. Severe uncontrolled allergies can progress to other health issues — so if your symptoms become severe, consult a physician immediately to accurately diagnose and treat your condition.
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Patient Plus treats most common illnesses and injuries — the sniffles, rashes, fevers, aches, breaks, and other conditions that deserve prompt treatment but aren’t serious enough to require a trip to the nearest emergency room. The clinics provide complete diagnostic services, including X-rays, EKGs, and flu and strep tests. Other services include physicals, vaccinations, and more. Patient Plus clinics are open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and patients never need to call first or make an appointment.