Seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, occur when your immune system overreacts to outside exposures (such as pollen). Spring is deemed allergy season because of the shift in weather from Winter to Spring and all the floral blooms and pollen that comes along with it. Other common allergens include dust, pet danger, mold, grass and trees.
Allergy symptoms include sinus congestion; itchy, water eyes, sneezing and a runny nose; and headaches. Fortunately, there is relief! Follow these best practices for at-home allergy relief:
Wash your hands and face often. Allergens can transfer easily, so if you come into contact with an allergen, wash your hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. And if you are noticing symptoms, wash your face with water and a washcloth to help rid your sinuses of the allergen.
Avoid direct contact with allergens. Being that there are many environmental allergens you can be exposed to on a daily basis, it’s important to identify the ones that are the most problematic and stay away from them. If you are allergic to pet danger, avoid petting the animal. If you are allergic to grasses, stay on the sidewalk when possible, wear closed-toed shoes, and avoid grassy areas.
Take vitamin C. Since allergic reactions are your body’s immune system response, taking vitamin C on a daily basis can help give your immunity the boost it needs during allergy season.
Invest in an air purifier. Besides outdoor allergens, indoor allergens can be just as harmful. Dust, danger and mold are all examples of allergens that can be circling in the air in your home. Investing in an air purifier can help rid your home of these allergens for a cleaner, healthier home.
Clean and dust often. In addition to purchasing an air purifier, you should practice good cleaning habits. This includes, dusting the tops of fans, cleaning the air vents often, exchanging out the air filter, and cleaning other dusty areas of your home.
For more severe allergies, there are a multitude of over the counter medicines and supplements you can take for daily allergy relief. Antihistamine medications are the best way to combat seasonal allergies. Learn more about each individual type of medication by reviewing the summary guide below and talking with your primary care physician or allergist. Most allergy medications last 24-hours.
Cetirizine (Zyrtec). An antihistamine used to treat traditional allergy symptoms including itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose.
Levocetirizine (Xyzal). This antihistamine is most effective when taken at night to help relieve allergy symptoms while you sleep for a well rested day ahead.
Loratadine (Claritin). An antihistamine used to treat traditional allergy symptoms including itchy, watery eyes and a runny nose.
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl). An antihistamine used to not only treat sudden allergic reactions, but also reactions caused by insect bites and poison ivy.
Fluticasone (Flonase). A nasal corticosteroid allergy spray used to target allergy symptoms in the nasal passage.
For allergy sufferers, whether your symptoms are seasonal or year-round, there is relief. Talk to your doctor to learn more about allergic rhinitis and what treatment options may be available for you.