- Dr. Brittany Long
Side-lined by Seasonal Allergies?
Does this recent and drastic increase in pollen have you snuffling, snorting, and sneezing through this what should be beautiful time? Are these symptoms also making you ready to live in a bubble just to avoid the symptoms of seasonal allergies?
Well, don't purchase a bubble just yet! Aside from anti-histamine medications (Claritin, Bendadryl, Allegra, Zyrtec anyone?) being a useful route to treat symptoms during this high pollen season, there are alternatives to help mitigate the spring-seasonal-allergy-slump. Try out these small changes, maybe in addition to or in lieu of medication, to help reduce or resolve seasonal allergy woes!
Remove clothing you wore outside after you come inside - this will limit the potentially otherwise prolonged time you will have exposure to the allergen you might be reacting to.
Splash your face with cold water after coming in from outside - again, this will limit exposure time to the allergen you might be reacting to.
Consider wearing a mask (we're all used to it by now right??) when working outdoors and especially when doing anything that might stir up allergens such as gardening, mowing the lawn, etc. Also refer to #1, #2 above for after coming inside after working outside.
Avoid hang drying clothing, sheets, towels, rugs outside as this will only increase your exposure time to the allergen. If you really want to reduce your electric bill and/or your carbon footprint then consider checking what the pollen count is before hanging anything and as a general "rule," pollen counts tend to be highest in the morning and again at night.
Consider keeping your household windows closed (especially early morning and ngiht) and running a HEPA filter in each room you are in. This one I know can be tough as there is nothing better than some fresh spring air, but if your allergies feel like they are really negatively impacting you, this change will help.
Consider upping your cleaning game - if you notice dust or maybe even pollen indoors this will be especially important. Give your household surfaces a good old wipe down at least once a week and consider vacuuming once a week as well.
Neti potting - if all the above changes aren't doing much to budge your symptoms, consider using a neti pot every morning and night. Be sure to always use distilled water when refilling your neti pot AND always wash with hot water and soap after each use.
Avoidance of all the things that are setting off your immune system might not be 100% possible but hopefully these small tricks will help to reduce symptoms and still allow you to spend some time outside and enjoy spring! Also, check back in in a few weeks for some other methods including some simple dietary and supplemental additions that might just help you avoid antihistamines BUT still give you symptom relief!
*DISCLAIMER: This document is not intended to treat or diagnose disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols be sure to consult with a licensed physician. The author has nothing to disclose in regards to supplements or products mentioned within this document and the author does not receive any monetary or other incentive to mention the recommended supplements or products.