The flowers are now in full bloom. The grass is growing. You’re trapped inside, blowing your nose, sneezing fits, drying watery eyes, and praying your congestion headache will go away soon.
Seasonal allergies, also known as Hay fever, can make your life miserable. Can there be any relief? Yes. There are many ways to treat allergies, both before and after they develop.
These five steps will help you treat and alleviate your allergies.
- Choose the best allergy medication
You can find many over-the-counter treatments for seasonal allergies. Many of these can be easily integrated into your daily life to relieve symptoms. What are the best seasonal allergy medications? It all depends on your symptoms and how severe you are feeling.
Allergy medications that are available over-the-counter
The best way to relieve seasonal allergies is with antihistamines. They block “histamine,” which is a chemical that your immune system releases when it detects something dangerous.
Your immune system releases histamine when it reacts to seasonal allergies. This is why you get all the allergies.
There are many brands of oral antihistamines available on the market. Benadryl is one example. However, it can reduce allergy symptoms and cause drowsiness. Benadryl may sometimes lead to hyperactivity in children under 6 years old.
These side effects have been reduced by newer medications like Claritin and Allegra, Xyzal, Xyzal, or Zyrtec. Generic versions of these brands are available that are equally effective but are less expensive.
Are your eyes bothering? To soothe watery, itchy eyes, you can also buy over-the-counter antihistamine drops such as Pataday (olopatadine), and Zaditor (ketotifen).
It can be difficult to choose the right antihistamine for you, given all of the options. Talk to your doctor to find out what they recommend based upon your most common symptoms.
Nasal steroid sprays
Flonase or Nasacort are nasal steroid sprays that work well with antihistamines. They reduce inflammation in the nose and sinuses and relieve congestion, runny noses, sneezing, and watery eyes.
Nasal steroid sprays are not as effective as decongestant sprays like Sinex or Afrin. They can be used one to two times per day for several weeks. It may take several weeks for the nasal steroid sprays to begin working. This consistency helps to keep allergy symptoms under control during the season.
Sudafed and the nasal decongestants can be combined to relieve stuffiness. Side effects include increased blood pressure, heart rate, irritability, and insomnia. Decongestants should not be used for more than three to five days if you have severe allergies.
Prescription allergy medication
If over-the-counter remedies don’t work, prescription medications like Singulair (montelukast), are also available. If you suffer from allergy medication can also be helpful.
It’s very common nowadays to find simple and easy to administer treatment for allergies through sublingual application. From the many , you can opt to take the same treatment to alleviate your seasonal allergy symptoms.
- Be aware of when you should take your allergy medication
Did you know that you can begin taking your allergy medication even before you feel any symptoms?
Although allergy seasons seem to be getting shorter and earlier, they are still fairly predictable. Start taking your allergy medication two weeks before you experience symptoms. Continue to take them throughout the season. It may take longer to find relief once inflammation has started.
It takes about half an hour for oral antihistamines to reach your system. It is best to take allergy medication at night. They can last for up to 24 hours and will continue working the next day.
- Use sinus rinses to clean your nasal passages
Sinus rinses can be used at home to treat allergy symptoms. They work well with nasal sprays and antihistamines. One of the most well-known sinus rinse products is the neti pot.
You can find a neti pot at your local drugstore, or online. It usually comes with packets that you mix with warm, distilled waters to make saltwater solutions. You can use the pot to push the solution into your nasal cavities to reduce swelling.
4. Try to avoid allergens whenever possible
You can plan your attack against allergy symptoms by knowing the pollen count. How do you find out the pollen count? Turn on your favorite weather channel. You can find the pollen count for your region on many weather reports. You can also go online to .
Are you planning a trip? You might find that the pollen count is higher in your destination. You should check the pollen count at your destination.
To help seasonal allergies, there are many things you can do around the house.
Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air in the spring, summer, and early fall. This can reduce mold growth and mildew spores that are known to cause allergies.
A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the room in dry winter months to help soothe dry and irritated nose passages. Regularly clean and replace the filter. Dust mites can also be attracted to moistened air.
HEPA filters should be replaced for heating and cooling systems
HEPA filters can trap allergens such as pollen and pet hair, keeping more irritants from the air. You should replace filters regularly, especially during high-usage times. It is a good idea to inspect your filter at least once per month to determine if it needs to be replaced.
You might also consider adding an air purifier.
You can also use an air purifier to remove finer particles and fumes from your furnace or air conditioner filter. There are many types of air purifiers, and each one works in a different way to clean the air that you breathe. Consider your options and choose the one that best suits your needs.
You can also reduce allergens in the home by using these other methods:
- Vacuum at least twice per week, especially if pets are present.
- When pollen levels are high, close the windows and turn on your heating or cooling system.
- Every week, wash your sheets, pillows and blankets in warm or hot water.
- To remove pollen particles from your scalp, get in the shower and wash your hair at home.
- After you have been outside, wash your clothes.
- Pets should not be allowed in the bedroom.
5. Discuss seasonal allergy testing with your doctor
An allergy test can help your doctor diagnose your allergies and help you to find a treatment plan.
It is very easy to perform allergy tests. Allergy testing is performed on the skin in a clinic that offers it. This will determine what allergens may be causing your symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend immunotherapy, which includes allergy shots. This will help to reduce or eliminate your body’s allergic reaction to environmental allergens.
These shots are used to teach your body not to be allergic. They are administered over a period of several years until you reach a target dose. Your doctor will help you establish a maintenance plan once the correct dosage has been achieved.
Allergy shots work more effectively than prescription medication and are the best way to treat allergies. The long-term effects of allergy shots could provide you with symptom relief for as long as 5-10 years. Many people experience symptom relief for the rest of their lives. Your insurance company can help you to discuss allergy shots.