FORT LEE, Va. (April 12, 2013) -- Spring time is here and it has brought with it a blanket of yellow pollen and a plague of seasonal allergy symptoms.
Seasonal allergies are one of the most common medical problems that typically occur during the warmer months of the year.
With the blooms of spring come symptoms like congestion, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes. Knowing how to combat the symptoms of allergies can help every person to enjoy the warm temperatures, sunny skies and the beauty of spring.
If you know that you usually suffer from seasonal allergies, begin taking allergy medications before the pollen count increases and your symptoms worsen. Some examples of these medications are oral antihistamines such as Claritin and Zyrtec, decongestants such as Sudafed, nasal sprays such as Afrin, and combination medications such as Claritin-D. Each of these medications can be bought over-the-counter at your local pharmacy or store.
Although you’ll be tempted to throw open the windows and let the fresh air in, keep doors and windows closed to prevent pollen from entering and settling in your home.
Rain helps to clear pollen from the air, so it’s best to plan outdoor activities for after a rainstorm. Stay indoors on dry and windy days.
Wearing a mask while doing yard work like cutting the grass or pulling weeds will help keep pollen and allergens from irritating your sinuses.
Changing clothing immediately after spending time outdoors will help eliminate any unnecessary irritation. Using high-efficiency filters to keep the air inside your home and car clean will further help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Vacuuming often will keep any pollen that has settled inside the home from continuing to bother allergy-sufferers. Use the clothes dryer and don’t hang laundry outside to dry. Pollen will collect on it and cause your allergies to flare.
Another way to decrease your allergy symptoms is to rinse your sinuses daily.Your local pharmacy has over-the-counter simple saline solutions that you spray into your nostrils, or you can buy a neti pot, which is another form of sinus irrigation device. If using a neti pot, you should use distilled water to irrigate.
Talk to your primary care manager about any allergy medications, over-the-counter or prescribed, you are taking as they may interact with other medications.
Blair Cho, RN, BSN, Family Medicine Clinic