Spring is often a welcome relief after the short, cold days of winter. Temperatures rise, the days get longer, and the outdoors begin to beckon. However, for those who suffer from seasonal allergies, there is a little less to love about springtime. Commonly known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis is a condition affecting as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children. With the condition come the familiar symptoms of sneezing, runny nose, congestion, and watery eyes, typically beginning with the first signs of spring and often continuing into the early summer months.
Suffering from seasonal allergies can be both frustrating and uncomfortable, preventing patients from fully enjoying the transition into spring. Fortunately, there are many steps that may be taken to prevent and lessen the impact of hay fever.
Keep Track of Pollen and Mold Counts
Allergic rhinitis occurs when mold spores and pollen particles are released into the air. The immune system sees these as invaders to be attacked and releases histamine into the bloodstream, resulting in allergy symptoms. The greater the amount of mold spores and pollen particles that are in the atmosphere, the more severe symptoms will be. Fortunately, much like checking the weather forecast, allergy sufferers can also check pollen and mold forecasts to help them prepare. Online tools such as pollen.com can be valuable resources when it comes to preparing for and preventing allergy symptoms.
Keep Pollen and Mold Out
While the nice weather may make open doors and windows enticing, this can invite allergens directly into your car or home. While you may not be able to avoid exposure in the great outdoors, you have far greater control over your indoor environment. Keep doors and windows closed and shower and change clothes after spending extended periods of time outside such as while performing yard work.
Additionally, the potential for pollen and mold spore exposure inside your home can be reduced by using high-efficiency A/C filters, placing air purifiers around the house, and vacuuming and dusting regularly.
Take Allergy Medications
There are many different forms of allergy medications available to help reduce associated symptoms. In many cases, over-the-counter options are effective at bringing relief. These may include oral antihistamines, nasal sprays, and decongestants. However, for those with more severe allergies, treatment from a medical professional such as an ENT may be necessary, including prescription medications and allergy shots.
Don’t let seasonal allergies put a damper on spring. Request an appointment with one of the many qualified ENT physicians associated with Lane Regional Medical Center and discover the best ways to keep your symptoms at bay.