Does allergy season have you in tears? Are you itching to find some relief? Fortunately, relief can be found simply by making some changes in and out of the house. Commonly called hay fever, allergic rhinitis, can be managed by making a few simple lifestyle changes. In addition to these changes, you can also try some of the OTC (over the counter) medications available. If symptoms still persist after these changes, it may be time to consult your medical provider.
Here are some changes that just may make your day a little less irritating:
- First, you need to figure out what is triggering your symptoms. Some common allergens are pollen, mold, and ragweed. Year-round allergy sufferers are most likely to have issues with indoor allergens, such as pet dander, dust mites, and household mold. If you are unsure as to what the specific allergen is, then you can consult your physician and arrange to have a simple blood test to determine the allergen.
- For those with seasonal allergies, your best bet may be to stay indoors when the pollen levels are reported as being high. Typically, dry and windy days are the worst. You can get this rating by watching your local news, from the radio, or by going online to pollen.com.
- Keeping all your windows and doors shut, and turning on your air conditioner can help relieve symptoms. Also, make sure that you change your air filter as needed. A dirty air filter will only circulate more allergens throughout your home.
- Do you have indoor plants? These also could be the culprit. Many indoor plants are found to have mold spores on their leaves which can become airborne, and they then become a part of the household dust. The most common offenders are ficus, ivy, yucca, and palm trees.
- When in your car be sure to have the air conditioner set to recycle mode, and not set to vent. This is because mold can grow on your A/C system. Some of your newer model cars comes with filtration systems.
- Arranging to have someone else do your yard work can also help. If that is not an option for you, an alternative would be to wear a mask. N95 masks are heavy duty and can be found at hardware stores.
- Washing the allergens off of yourself can also give you some relief. Take a shower after doing yard work, or after a high pollen count day. Wearing wraparound sunglasses can keep allergens out of your eyes. Also, do not line-dry your clothes.
- Do not smoke and avoid second hand smoke. Smoking can lower your sensitivity to allergens.
- Allergic rhinitis has been linked to alcohol use, especially with heavy intake. Alcohol consumption has also been known to worsen nasal symptoms.