Seasonal allergies affect millions of Americans, who suffer from agonizing symptoms that make life virtually unbearable. If warm weather has brought you nothing but misery, learn some effective ways to reduce your allergy symptoms.
While modern medications provide many people with seasonal allergy relief, most experience optimal results when they make subtle lifestyle adjustments that reduce their exposure to allergens. Among the most effective strategies include:
1. Leaving allergies outdoors. Make sure to remove your shoes before entering your home and close your windows on windy days. You should also wipe down pets using a clean, damp rag before allowing them to enter your home.
2. Keeping your home clean. It’s generally a good idea to swap out your furnace and air conditioner filters regularly. You should also clean indoor fans, which can stir up allergies and propel dust into the air.
3. Staying indoors when conditions aren’t ideal. Always monitor pollen and mold counts in your area and alter your plans accordingly. Be sure to stay indoors during thunderstorms, which tend to stir up pollen in the short-term. If you must go outdoors, shut your car windows and recirculate the interior air instead of using the vents.
4. Changing some of your habits. Avoid using hairspray, gel and other sticky hair styling products which act like magnets for pollen. You should also wash your hair before you get in bed to keep from transferring allergens to your pillow.
5. Altering your lifestyle. Consider avoiding alcohol, which can worsen allergic reactions by dilating blood vessels inside the nose. You should also try to reduce stress, which studies have linked to symptom flare-ups in people with seasonal allergies.
When to Seek Help
While they may be a common nuisance for many, seasonal allergies can be a serious problem for certain people with overactive immune responses. In addition to nasal congestion, itchy eyes, sneezing, wheezing, and hives, these people may feel as though they are suffering from chronic illness.
If seasonal allergies are making it difficult for you to live your life, ask your doctor about modern allergy treatments such oral medications or injections, which can significantly reduce symptoms in certain people.