If you’re one of the millions who suffer from seasonal allergies, you know how annoying and downright miserable they can make you feel. Allergies can dampen your mood and make even the most enjoyable activities hard to get through. Here are some ideas on how to survive and feel better!Each year, millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergic
Each year, millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever. The timing may vary from one region of the country to the next, as these allergens are most commonly carried through the air by pollen.If you’re one of
If you’re one of millions suffering from seasonal allergies, here are a few ways to ease your symptoms – and a checklist of things you need to know.
Seasonal allergies are uncomfortable, but you can manage them better by following these tips:
- Remove clothes and shower immediately after being outside for long periods of time; clothing continues to release pollen even after you’ve come inside
- Use a dryer to dry clothes instead of hanging them outside
- Stay inside with the windows closed and use the air conditioner in your home, particularly if your symptoms are severe
- Stay inside when pollen counts are highest (usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
- Use a HEPA air filter in your bedroom
When to See a Doctor
Not all problems with allergies call for a visit to a doctor, but there are some telltale signs you need professional help, including:
- Symptoms last for more than three months
- Your symptoms make it hard to work, sleep or participate in activities you enjoy
- Over-the-counter drugs don’t provide enough relief
- You frequently have sinus and ear infections, headaches or stuffy nose
Sometimes it’s hard to tell a cold from allergies. They often share symptoms, but a cold only lasts 10 days or less. However, you might have seasonal allergies if you have the following symptoms:
- Swollen eyelids
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Itchy mouth/throat/ears/face
- Facial pain or pressure
- Red, itchy and watery eyes
- Stuffy/runny nose
Don’t Try This at Home!
Some people are able to treat their symptoms with over-the-counter medications* – but they aren’t safe for everyone. Forego the OTC meds and see your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- Thyroid disease
- Kidney disease
- High blood pressure
- Enlarged prostate
*Using decongestant nasal sprays for more than 3 days in a row can make symptoms worse.
What’s Up, Doc?
Once you see your doctors, you’ll want to make sure that you’re asking the right questions. Here are a few things you probably will want to find out:
- What’s the difference between season allergies and a cold?
- What kind of changes should I make in/around my home?
- What medications should I take every day – and what should I do if I miss a dose?
- Could the allergies be triggered by mold?
- Do I need skin testing or shots to control my symptoms?
- Will these medications interact with my current medications?
- I plan to get pregnant, what OTC medications are safe?
- What are the side effects of my medicine?
- What medications should I avoid if I have a medical condition?