You made it through the winter unscathed. You survived the cold. You survived the ice. You even survived that week when it seemed like everyone around you had the flu (thank you, flu shot!)
But before you even had a chance to sigh in relief … allergy season was upon you.
It’s not your imagination – your allergies really are worse
It probably started with a little nasal drip. Maybe a sneeze. Then your eyes got red and itchy. And then you knew … pollen was back with a vengeance. If your spring allergy symptoms feel worse than they have in past years, you’re not alone. As carbon dioxide levels have increased, pollen-producing plants have thrived.1
If you are one of the unlucky 50 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies, buckle up – hay fever season is in full swing, and all signs point to a long and difficult season for allergy sufferers.1,2 But just because you happen to have a hyper-sensitive immune system, doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself inside until the snow flies again.
Reduce your exposure
Keeping windows closed and giving your home a thorough spring cleaning to reduce exposure can help lessen your allergy symptoms:3,4,5, 6
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Change air filters in heating and cooling units
- Clean duct work
- Wipe down walls
- Move furniture to clean hard-to-reach places where dust gathers
- Get rid of dust-collecting clutter
- Wash curtains, throws and bedding
- Wash bed pillows and stuffed animals in hot water to eliminate dust mites (don’t forget your pets’ beds!)
- Scrub visible mold from basements, bathrooms and kitchen including under the sink
- Clean sconces, chandeliers and other lights
- Thoroughly vacuum your mattress
- Hire a service to clean your upholstery
- Wear a mask while cleaning or hire a cleaning service
There are a variety of pills, shots and nasal sprays to help, from over-the-counter (OTC) remedies to prescription medications. So how do you find the one that is right for you?
If spring allergies are leading to symptoms that include sinus pressure or infections, wheezing or shortness of breath, a trip to your doctor is in order.7,8
For the bulk of allergy sufferers, however, a consultation with your pharmacist may be enough to find relief. OTC remedies will depend on your symptoms and include:
Pills: Non-prescription antihistamines are the first line of defense for most seasonal allergy sufferers.
Nasal Sprays: If a stuffy nose is your most bothersome symptom, a corticosteroid spray can help reduce inflammation and congestion.
Eye drops: To reduce redness and itching, eye drops that contain antihistamines can provide relief.
Sinus Rinses: Used alone or in conjunction with other remedies, nasal rinses, including saline nasal sprays or neti pots, can wash away pollen and dust.7,8 When using a nasal irrigation system such as a neti pot, be sure to use as directed and only with sterile, distilled or boiled water that has been cooled, not tap water.
We’re here to help
If you are suffering from seasonal allergies and not sure of the best remedy to alleviate your symptoms, your local Health Mart pharmacist is always here to help!
Health Mart. Caring for you and about you.
Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.
- NBC News: “What an immunologist wants you to know about spring allergies” https://www.nbcnews.com/better/health/what-immunologist-wants-you-know-about-spring-allergies-ncna869011 Last accessed: April 3, 2019
- AccuWeather: “AccuWeather 2019 US spring allergy forecast” https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/2019-us-spring-allergy-forecast/70007752 Last accessed: April 3, 2019
- Baylor College of Medicine: Tips help relieve seasonal allergies and sinus infections https://blogs.bcm.edu/2019/01/29/tips-help-relieve-seasonal-allergies-and-sinus-infections/ Last accessed: April 3, 2019
- Good Housekeeping: “Skipping Spring Cleaning Can Make Allergies and Asthma Much Worse, According to Doctors” https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a26898560/how-to-reduce-allergens-cleaning/ Last accessed: April 3, 2019
- US News: “A Good Spring Clean Can Help Tame Seasonal Allergies” https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2019-03-25/a-good-spring-clean-can-help-tame-seasonal-allergies Last accessed: April 3, 2019
- Reader’s Digest: “28 Spots to Never, Ever Skip When Spring Cleaning” https://www.rd.com/home/cleaning-organizing/spring-cleaning/ Last accessed: April 3, 2019
- Living Allergic: “Finding Pollen Allergy Relief: What Pill, Spray or Shot is Right?” https://www.allergicliving.com/2019/04/02/finding-pollen-allergy-relief-what-pill-spray-or-shot-is-right/ Last accessed: April 3, 2019
- AccuWeather: “8 allergy remedies to keep on hand during spring” https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/8-allergy-remedies-to-keep-on-hand-during-the-spring/70004821 Last accessed: April 3, 2019
Posted on Wed, May 1, 2019
by Health Mart