3 Steps to Taming Seasonal Allergies
If you’ve got seasonal allergies, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer each spring and fall from allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis. The peak of seasonal allergies typically occurs in the spring and summer; however, allergies can also occur year round, which is known as perennial rhinitis.
Those that suffer from allergies know the symptoms can be downright miserable. The runny nose, coughing, and irritated and itchy eyes can be disruptive to work, school, and routines.
What is the key to taming allergies? Try these three steps.
1. Know Your Triggers
One step to keeping allergies under control is to be aware of triggers that cause symptoms or make them worse. Common triggers include:
- Pollen from flowering plants and grasses in the spring and summer. Dry, windy days are usually worse.
- Ragweed in the fall
- Mold, which also typically occurs in the fall
- Pet dander, dust, household mites, and air pollution can be year-round triggers
2. Avoid Irritants
There are several simple steps you can take to avoid common allergy irritants:
- Keeping windows or doors closed at night, and using air conditioning in spring and summer months
- Staying indoors when pollen counts are high. If this is not an option, wearing a mask when outdoors for long periods of time.
- Taking showers, shampooing your hair, and changing clothes after pollen exposure
- Becoming aware of days with high pollen and mold counts
3. Consider Medication Options
Even if you know your triggers and avoid irritants, you may still need help controlling allergy symptoms. There are a number of over-the-counter medications that can help. These include:
- Steroid nasal sprays, such as Flonase (brand name) or Fluticasone (generic name), are used to decrease nasal and sinus inflammation to promote an improved nasal airway.
- Antihistamines are commonly used on a daily basis or taken as needed depending on symptoms. Common antihistamines include Loratadine, Benadryl, and Zyrtec.
When to Seek Medical Help
If you’ve tried over-the-counter medications for several weeks and still haven’t found relief, it may be time to see a healthcare provider. You should also seek medical care if you start running a fever or have increasing congestion that continues to get worse. These could be signs of an infection. If you need help taming allergies, the caregivers at InstaCare can help. We’re available for adults and children seven days a week, and our office is conveniently located in Lake Jeanette Office Park. You can reserve a same-day visit time online with our easy form, or check the walk-in wait time. Our experienced team will help you feel better fast.
Christie Leath, FNP-C at InstaCare.