Summer is a wonderful time to get out and soak up the sun, unless you’re one of millions who suffer from seasonal allergies. Between the pollen, smog, and mould, this time of year can be as perilous as it is beautiful. Luckily, there are some things you can do to stop allergies from ruining your good time.
This is the old standby for allergy sufferers everywhere, for a good reason too! Antihistamine allergy pills reduce or block histamines, the chemicals your body produces when it comes into contact with irritants like pollen or dust. While antihistamines fight most symptoms, your doctor may recommend a decongestant for more stubborn stuffy noses. Some tablets already combine both types for double allergy fighting power.
Improve Allergen Awareness
Before you step foot outside, check the allergen levels in the air. You can do this by visiting the National Pollen Forecast website (pollen.com), or checking your local news. For more personalized allergy alerts try an app such as WebMD Allergy (webmd.com/allergy-app). On high or very high days for your specific allergens be sure to take your meds and avoid too much outside exposure.
Take off your Shoes
When you walk inside your shoes drag in pollen, dirt, and other nasty particles too. Leave your footwear at the door to minimize trailing outside irritants all over your home, office, or any indoor space you plan to spend a lot of time in.
Filter your Air
Despite your best efforts, allergens can still find their way into your house. If you’re suffering indoors, consider setting up an air purifier. You’ll want one with a HEPA filter and at least a 350 clean air delivery rate. Another bonus to using a HEPA filter? It traps other unhealthy microbes and even viruses!
Avoid Perilous Produce
Who doesn’t enjoy some nice in-season fruit? You, if you have seasonal pollen allergens. When we think of pollen we usually picture flowers bursting with dusty particles. But pollen affects some of our favourite foods too. Fruit, especially apples and melons, cause cross-reaction in those with certain pollen allergies. Pay attention to your symptoms if you consume fruits or vegetables, if they get worse avoid those foods for the season.
Washing your hands is a great way to keep away germs as well as allergens. Avoid rubbing your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you spend extended time outside, change your clothes and wash your hair as soon as possible. Allergens cling to fabric and hair, so the longer you wait the more severe your symptoms can become.
Erase the Doubt
The sad truth is you can be allergic to more than just one irritant. If your efforts to beat summer allergies still leave you sneezing and sniffling, consider getting an allergy test. Typically tested on the skin or through blood typing, a specialist can determine which common allergens affect you most. This makes it easier to develop a treatment that will work more accurately than playing the guessing game.