As the seasons change, many of us eagerly anticipate the cooler weather and outdoor activities that fall has to offer. But, for those who suffer from seasonal allergies, this time of year can bring a different kind of anticipation altogether – one filled with sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and constant congestion. At Xpress Wellness, we understand the impact seasonal allergies can have on your quality of life. We’re here to provide you with our best tips and effective treatment options to help you navigate the challenges of seasonal allergies.
Understanding Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies are caused by the body’s reaction to airborne allergens. This reaction, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, is triggered when your body releases histamines in response to the foreign substances that are inhaled. Though not everyone will react to these allergens, common culprits include pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds, as well as mold spores and pet dander. Allergies can begin at any time in your life and can resurface after being absent for many years. The body’s reaction to allergens can cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as:
● Runny or stuffy nose
● Itchy or watery eyes
● Sore throat
For some people, seasonal allergies can be a mere inconvenience, while for others, they can be debilitating and affect their quality of life. Thankfully, for most allergy sufferers, there are steps you can take to alleviate your symptoms.
Tips for Managing Seasonal Allergies
With some planning and diligence, most people who struggle with seasonal allergies can find relief through minor lifestyle changes.
Identify Your Allergens
Does a short trip outside to the mailbox set off your sneezing? Or maybe you’ve noticed your dog or cat shedding their coat in preparation for the new season, which makes your eyes water and itch. Keeping track of potential triggers is a great start to mitigating their effects. Use an app or a diary to document your symptoms and suspected allergens.
Monitor Pollen Activity
If you’ve determined that an outdoor allergen is likely the culprit behind your misery, check the daily pollen forecasts. Weather apps and websites usually offer this number and will usually note which type of pollen is most active on a given day. By cross-referencing this information with your allergy diary, you can plan your outings accordingly.
Keep Windows Closed
It may be tempting to throw your windows open when the weather is pleasant but be mindful of the potential allergens that you may let in along with that fresh breeze. To minimize allergen exposure, keep your windows closed on breezy, high pollen days. Or, if you react strongly to pollen, it’s best to keep your windows closed all season long.
Invest in High-Efficiency Air Filters
Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in your home’s heating and cooling systems. These filters can trap airborne allergens to prevent them from circulating throughout your home. You can also purchase standalone HEPA air purifiers for rooms where you spend the most time, like the living room or your bedroom.
Shower & Change Clothes Promptly
For some, the effects of allergen exposure happen immediately. But for others, the reaction may be delayed. After spending time outdoors, shower and change as soon as you come inside to reduce the spread of allergens, and to remove any particles from your hair or skin. Blow your nose thoroughly and wash your face with a mild soap to help reduce potential irritation to your eyes.
Non-prescription antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal corticosteroids can provide relief from allergy symptoms. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before trying these options, as these medications can produce side effects, interact with other medications, or exacerbate certain medical conditions.
Treatment at Xpress Wellness
When seasonal allergies become overwhelming and home remedies don’t provide the relief you need, we’re here to help. Our team at Xpress can help you find relief from seasonal allergies and start you on your journey to overall wellness. Check in online to minimize your wait time, or request a virtual visit to discuss your seasonal allergies with one of our knowledgeable healthcare providers.
Please note: if you experience any of the following symptoms, please call 911 or visit the closest emergency room, as it could indicate a more serious allergic reaction.
● Swelling of the tongue, throat, lips, eyes, hands, or feet
● Sudden appearance or worsening of hives or other skin rash
● Difficulty breathing
● Feeling lightheaded or fainting
● Abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting
● Collapse or loss of consciousness