It is that time of year. Your congested sinuses, scratchy throat, itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, and nasal congestion, are draining enjoyment from your life. You may be one of the 50 million people in the United States who experience allergic rhinitis, or colloquially known as “seasonal allergies” or “hay fever.”
While there are no recent breakthroughs in curing allergies, you can take steps to minimize your allergies this season.
These are the five best ways to fight your seasonal allergies:
1. Identify Your Allergy Culprit
Seasonal allergies can strike at any season for different reasons. Finding the right allergy culprit can help you with the proper treatment.
Spring allergies mainly result from tree pollen. The common culprits are oak, western red cedar, sycamore, maple, elm, birch, ash, cypress, walnut, hickory, and poplar.
Summer allergies result from pollen of grasses and weeds like ragweed.
Fall allergies are mainly due to ragweed pollen, but they can also arise from pollen of certain shrubs.
Other year-long allergy culprits can include pet dander, dust, and mold.
2. Plan Ahead of Time
Once you properly identify your allergy culprits, you can plan for the season. Remember to keep track of your allergen each year and start your allergy medicine one to two weeks before the season for it to take effect.
Pollen count tends to be higher in early mornings and late evenings, so try to avoid outdoor exercise during those times. Pollen count also varies depending on weather with dry, windy days producing high pollen levels and rainy days producing low pollen levels. However, it is still best to read the daily pollen count using a daily tracker. Information on how to prepare for your daily outdoor and indoor activities along with your medication is discussed in later sections.
Certain foods may exacerbate symptoms depending on your allergen. According to the AAAAI (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology) those with birch tree allergies should avoid pitted fruits, kiwi, carrot, celery, parsley, certain legumes, and certain nuts. Those with ragweed allergies should avoid bananas, cucumbers, melons, zucchini, and white potatoes.
3. Prepare for the Outdoors
The obvious answer would be not to go outdoors to avoid the allergens, but that is impractical. So, what can be done?
Take your allergy medicine. Close all your windows in your home and car. Wear sunglasses or eyeglasses to reduce exposure of allergens to your eyes. Use protective gear like specialized filter masks when gardening, mowing the lawn, or performing any other outdoor activities. The goal is to limit your bodily exposure to the irritants outdoors as much as possible.
When returning home, keep your shoes near the door. Shower and wash your hair. Wash your pet. Change your clothes. The last thing you want is for allergens from outside to transfer to your pillow, bed, or sofa.
4. Clean Your Home
Your home becomes your fort when fighting seasonal allergies. It should be clean so that allergens cannot attack you during your downtime.
Make sure the surfaces you regularly touch are clean. Change your clothes often. Change your sheets often. Wash your desk, keyboard, and other hard surfaces. Vacuum the places you frequent most in your home.
Make sure the air you breathe is also clean. Remove the presence of cigarette smoke and other smoke irritants. Make sure your air conditioner or air purifier uses HEPA filters and replace your old filters if they are not. Remember to also change your filters often.
5. Take Your Allergy Medication
With so many different allergy medicines, it is hard to choose which one is right for you.
There is the option of immunotherapy; that would require conducting allergy shots over the span of several years with your doctor’s consent.
There are also the less invasive options. Those would be your antihistamines, specifically those made with corticosteroids. These medications are normally the prescribed route for allergy sufferers without paying exorbitant rates.
Available OTC (Over-The-Counter), FlutiCare® is the most affordable nasal allergy spray containing the #1 prescribed, clinically proven ingredient for nasal allergy relief – Fluticasone Propionate. FlutiCare® is FDA-approved and it is the most recommended by physicians for allergy nasal relief for children and adults to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms caused by pollen, pet dander, dust, mold, and other indoor/outdoor allergens. Unlike other similar (and familiar) nasal allergy products, FlutiCare® can be purchased here with auto-shipping for your convenience and continuous relief.