Unless you suffer from allergies, nothing beats spending time outside in the warm spring sunshine after a long, chilly winter. In the spring, plants produce pollen as they bloom and grow, which can trigger allergic reactions.
If you are allergic to a particular type of pollen, you may suffer from what most people refer to as “hay fever”. Experts refer to it as “seasonal allergic rhinitis.”
However, by following a few simple tips, you can mitigate the adverse effects of allergies. Here are a few tips for coping with spring allergies this year.
What Are the Spring Allergy Symptoms?
A person develops an allergy when their immune system overreacts to an allergen, a harmless chemical. When someone develops an allergy, the body creates antibodies that travel to the cells, releasing histamine and other substances.
To prevent allergens from entering the body, histamine causes swelling in the eyes and nose. Histamine can also induce symptoms such as:
- Running nose
- An itchy nose, eye, or the roof of the mouth
- Nose congestion
How Can You Prevent Spring Allergies?
Here are some tips to help you avoid allergy symptoms this spring season:
1. Wear a Mask When Outside
When spending a lot of time outside, wear a surgical mask to protect yourself from pollen and other allergies. Look for “N95” when buying a face mask. Filters out up to 95% of allergy-causing particles, which means it complies with the NIOSH rule of 95 percent filtration.
2. Use Air Conditioning and Close the Windows
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, it’s best to keep your windows closed. To avoid pollen, use an air conditioning machine to circulate clean air around your home.
Alternatively, open your windows to get some fresh air if you suffer from indoor allergies such as dust or mold. Whether you have indoor or outdoor allergies, using a furnace air filter is essential. Its design purpose is to capture allergens that help relieve allergy symptoms.
3. Keep Track of the Pollen Count
Local weather forecasts and radio stations broadcast pollen counts, such as how much pollen is in the air daily. People who plan to go outside should wear a mask if the count is high.
How You Can Get Allergy Treatment
A variety of treatments are available to ease spring allergy symptoms. The drugs are available both over the counter (OTC) and through a doctor’s prescription. Among the options:
Antihistamines: These medications can reduce itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. Antihistamines come in pill, nasal spray, or liquid form.
Decongestants: These medications work by shrinking the lining of the nasal passages, easing stuffiness. Decongestants come in pills, liquid drops, and nasal sprays. However, prolonged use can have adverse effects.
Eye drops: You can use eye drops to treat eye allergies. Also, ease redness, itching, and swelling.
Other nasal sprays are available to ease dry nasal passages, thick mucus and prevent allergic reactions.
As a long-term remedy, immunotherapy focuses on helping patients become less sensitive to their allergies. Doctors use immunotherapy to treat those with side effects or who don’t benefit from medication. Immunotherapy is in two categories:
1. Allergy Shots
Allergy shots require three-five years of allergen injections. These injections help to create tolerance for the allergen.
2. Oral Sublingual Pills
Sublingual pills can treat only a few types of allergies. They require the individual to swallow a tablet daily for three years. In the months leading up to spring, a person can begin taking the pills.
Remedies You Can Do at Home
Allergy patients can benefit from a wide range of natural treatments.
1. Inhaling Steam
The practice of inhaling steam is quite common. Therapists recommend it because it helps relieve and open blocked nasal passages caused by allergic rhinitis.
How do you do it? Place a bowl of boiling water on a table to inhale the vapor. Breathe in the vapors by covering your head, face, and bowl with a towel. Remember, when working with boiling water, use caution to prevent burns.
2. Rinse With Saline
Thinning down the nasal mucus with a saline rinse can help ease nasal congestion and stuffiness. You can also use the solution to remove allergies from the sinuses and nose. There are several non-prescription saline rinses available.
The Bottom Line
Spring allergies don’t have to be a dreadful experience. You can still enjoy spring with the correct treatment. Many over-the-counter and prescription medications work effectively for treating spring allergies.
Using natural remedies also can help relieve some symptoms. However, if a person’s symptoms worsen or become severe, they should see a doctor.