Allergy Season Is Here: Prepare Yourself Today
Getting Ready For Allergies
Whether an individual is a seasonal or a perennial allergy sufferer, nobody looks forward to allergy season. The symptoms associated with allergies are similar to flu-like symptoms including itching of the nose, roof of mouth, back of throat and eyes. Sneezing is also frequent, as well as a general stuffiness in the ears, and swollen, red eyes. While dealing with the symptoms of allergic rhinitis (or hay fever) is an unpleasant task, there are ways to prepare for the onset of allergy season and avoid situations that trigger their condition.
Know What Time of Year It Is
For seasonal allergy sufferers, the coming of spring and fall are sure signs that allergic rhinitis is coming. During the spring, from late February through May, trees are the earliest to pollinate through most of the country. Types of trees that dispense such allergens are: ash, birch, cypress, elm, hickory, maple, oak, poplar, sycamore, walnut and western cedar. After trees come the grasses and weeds, which include grasses such as Bermuda, orchard, red top, sweet vernal and timothy. Weeds such as cocklebur, pigweed, ragweed, Russian thistle and sagebrush become problematic during late summer and fall. Molds and pollen peak during the late spring and fall. Before an allergy sufferer ventures outside, it is important to know the amount of pollen and mold in the air. Minimizing outdoor activity on days like this can help to avoid allergens.
Speak To a Doctor
Before allergy season begins, make an appointment with a doctor or allergist. Reevaluate the medicines used last season during allergy season, and see if any changes need to be made for the new season. There are also insurance companies that provide calendars with month to month tips of how to effectively deal with potential allergens.
Changes in Lifestyle
The best way to avoid allergens is to schedule a routine that minimizes exposure to the times of day when pollen is highest, such as the early morning (when pollen is released into the air). If outdoor activity is planned, it is best to do that during the afternoon. Once all outdoor activity is completed, go inside and change clothes to avoid bringing pollen inside. Keep the windows closed if possible, and if someone else can do the yard work, that can reduce exposure to molds and other related allergens. Otherwise, be sure to wear a dust and pollen mask. Inside the home, routine and frequent house cleaning will help to alleviate any potential allergens. Dust and vacuum frequently, and remove any objects that simply sit and collect dust. If there is a pet in the house, wash the animal frequently to avoid dander (skin flakes). Air purifiers, such as a HEPA filter, are also beneficial for removing impurities in the air. The best places for air filter placement are the most commonly used rooms in the house.
Keeping Allergies under Control
It is important to make plans early in order to most effectively deal with an oncoming allergy season. While there is no one hundred percent remedy for full relief, careful planning and avoiding potential problem situations can make a significant difference.
Photo Credit: Josh T. Hudson