HealthONE - March 27, 2018

For millions of allergy sufferers, springtime can be a pain. Discover the top four ways to ease spring allergies and get back to the outdoor activities you love.

For the estimated 67 million Americans that suffer from spring allergies, even just going outside can be a pain. Seasonal allergic rhinitis—commonly known as hay fever—is an allergic reaction to pollen that aggravates your immune system. As a result, irritating symptoms like itchy eyes, watery eyes, eye irritation, sneezing, and runny nose can be enough to drive even the biggest outdoor enthusiast back inside. Additionally, allergies can affect your general wellness in terms of your sleep, ability to concentrate, productivity at work, and enjoyment in activities that you love. Here are four ways to help you soothe spring allergies.

Stop Symptoms Before They Start
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the best time to start treatment for seasonal allergies is before your symptoms even start. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, taking medications early prevents the release of histamine and other symptom-causing chemicals in your body. Allergies treatment may vary from person to person, but antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays are the best medicine for allergies to prevent irritating symptoms like itchy eyes, watery eyes, eye irritation, and runny nose. While most allergy medications can be found over the counter, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning any new treatments. 

Check Pollen Counts in Your Area
An index of the amount of pollen in the air, pollen count can help you know the best time of day to go outside—without experiencing uncomfortable allergies. Try to limit your time outside when pollen counts are highest, typically in the early morning between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. Days that are warm, dry, or windy also tend to have higher pollen counts and can cause allergy symptoms. Additionally, resist the urge to open the windows at home or in your car, as this can bring in unwanted pollen. Instead, turn on the air conditioning, which can cool the air while filtering out pollen particles.

Keep Pesky Pollen at Bay
Persistent pollen can hang around on your body, unwashed clothes, or pets that spread dander throughout the house. When you go outside, cover up to help block out allergen particles. Try wearing a bandana over your nose and mouth during outdoor chores, wearing sunglasses to prevent eye irritation, and a hat to combat pollen buildup in your hair. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology also recommends showering and putting on clean clothes to avoid spreading pollen indoors. You may also want to avoid line-drying your clothes and bedding outdoors when your local pollen count is high, as well as minimizing contact with items, people, or pets that have come in contact with pollen.

Consider Getting Allergy Shots

If you have persistent allergy symptoms that aren’t lessened by over-the-counter medications, it might be time to talk to your doctor about getting allergy shots, also known as allergen immunotherapy. Over time, allergy shots can train your immune system to develop tolerance to allergens, lessen your need for other medications, and ease your symptoms.

If these steps to avoid allergens aren’t enough, don’t sit around and self-diagnose. If you have allergy symptoms, our CareNow Urgent Care clinics in Denver can help you determine triggers, find relief.

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