You can feel it in the air: the weather is starting to warm up, and there is excitement about the upcoming summer plans.
As the seasons are changing, do you find it more challenging to spend time outside because of seasonal allergy symptoms? The weather changes mean that different types of plants are blooming. As they send pollen and allergens into the air, it can trigger your allergy symptoms.
Millions of people suffer from seasonal allergies, with symptoms such as congestion, sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes, and more. If you are one of the many people experiencing these symptoms, then consider these tips for managing your allergies and improving your overall lifestyle.
1. Ensure Proper Ventilation
Opening the windows to improve ventilation can bring in the pollen from outside. Instead, consider alternative solutions to improve indoor air quality, such as using a HEPA air filter. Some people also find it beneficial to add a little more moisture in the air with a humidifier.
If you want to open the windows, avoid opening them in the early mornings and late afternoons – when the pollen counts peak during the day.
Be proactive about using quality filters in your HVAC system if you use forced-air heating or air conditioning.
2. Be Proactive with Mild Symptoms
Just because your symptoms start mild, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t need to treat the problem. Start now to get ahead of your allergies, which helps to reduce the risk of moderate or severe symptoms. Be proactive in the early stages to optimize your overall experience during this allergy season.
3. Avoid Allergy Triggers
Pay attention to when your symptoms are flaring so you can identify the specific allergy triggers to avoid. Consider these tips to minimize allergy triggers:
- Wear a pollen mask when doing activities outdoors, such as gardening or landscaping
- Stay inside on windy days
- Enjoy outdoor activities after it rains because the rain reduces pollen counts in the air
- Hire a local provider for lawn mowing and other yard activities that trigger your allergies
- Don’t hang clothing to dry outside since pollen can settle in the fabric
4. Take Allergy Medications When Pollen Counts Are Increasing
Pay attention to the local pollen levels and forecasts to see what you can expect in the upcoming days. If you can see that pollen counts will be high, then start taking medications now – before the symptoms start.
5. Clean the House
Regular house cleaning can reduce dust, pollen, and other allergy triggers in your living space. Clean the floors at least once or twice a week with a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner. Dust all surfaces, including shelving, baseboards, and cupboards. Consider hiring a professional carpet cleaning provider once or twice a year to deep clean the carpet fibers and remove allergens that settle in the fabric.
6. Try Sinus Rinses
Nasal irrigation is an easy and inexpensive way to flush allergens out of the areas they are irritating. You can buy a neti-pot or squeeze bottle at a local drugstore or pharmacy. Mix distilled water and the saline solution according to the instructions, then gently rinse the solution through your sinuses.
Nasal rinses can be helpful once or twice a day. For example, you might do it in the morning when you wake up and again an hour or two before going to bed.
7. Use Steam or Nasal Sprays
Another way to clean the sinuses is by using a nasal spray product. There are both medicated and non-medicated options to help with reducing post-nasal drip and sinus congestion. Some of these products are daily-use medications.
Your ENT might prescribe a nasal steroid spray if your symptoms are moderate or severe. These sprays can help to reduce swelling and inflammation in the nasal passages. It usually takes a few days for the steroids to work, so be patient before noticing the results.
8. Talk to an ENT about Medications
You can find different types of over-the-counter allergy medications. Patients often find that one type works better than others. So, try switching brands if the medication isn’t as effective as you want.
If you have tried several different over-the-counter options and are still experiencing many symptoms, then talk to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist to discuss the possibility of using prescription medications.
Be careful always to follow dosage and frequency recommendations when using any type of medication. Some medications shouldn’t be used for more than a few days at a time. So, read the instructions and talk to your doctor for personal recommendations.
9. Have Eye Drops on Hand
Nasal sprays and rinses can help with congestion and sinus symptoms. But what should you do if the allergy symptoms are affecting your eyes?
If your eyes are red, itchy, dry, or irritating, then eye drops can be a helpful remedy to add to your routine. Some eye drops are lubrication to flush pollen and allergens out of the eyes. Other eye drops have medication, such as antihistamine, to reduce the itching and allergy response in the eyes.
10. Be Proactive about Personal Grooming
When you spend time outside, it means that you are likely bringing pollen and allergens into the home when you step inside. So as soon as you get home, make it a priority to change your clothes and take a shower to wash away these compounds.
Prompt grooming practices might seem simple, but they can have a positive impact to help you feel more comfortable at home.
11. Schedule Allergy Testing
An ENT can provide allergy testing, helping you identify the specific triggers that are causing your symptoms. This process can be helpful, so you know exactly what is contributing to your allergies – then you can make lifestyle changes to avoid these triggers.
Talk to an ENT in Frisco About Allergy Treatments
When you are suffering from allergy symptoms and can’t find relief, it’s time to reach out to an ENT to learn more about treatment options. Each patient is unique, and a specialist can help you get to the underlying health factors that are contributing to your symptoms.
We are here to help when looking for an ENT in Collin County or Dallas. Reach out to us at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat to learn more about available services. We’ll schedule a consultation for you to meet with an ENT at one of our convenient offices in Frisco or Plano, TX. Find our online form for an appointment request or call: (972) 596-4005.