Seasonal allergies occur when changes in the environment cause more allergens to become airborne. While there are different allergy “seasons” throughout the year, springtime, with the blooming of all types of plants, is notorious for bringing on intense symptoms. Spring allergies, and the wide range of symptoms they produce, are no fun. But with proper preparation and an active approach to managing them, you can keep them from making you miserable.
Spring Allergy Symptoms
People who have spring allergies are very familiar with the standard symptoms, which include:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Itchy nose and eyes
However, the body’s reaction to pollen released by trees, grasses, weeds and other airborne irritants can also cause:
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Sinus infections
- Poor sleep
- Difficulty concentrating
Because these symptoms can have a variety of other origins, it is important to note the timing of their onset. If you begin to notice them around the same time that you develop standard allergy symptoms, that information can be helpful to your healthcare provider as they look to determine the cause and prescribe a treatment.
Spring Allergy Treatment and Remedies
Here are some steps you can take to help minimize your allergy symptoms this spring or during any allergy season:
Stay inside as much as possible when the pollen count is high
Pollen counts tend to be highest in the morning, from 5 am to 10 am, so remaining inside can help you avoid pollen. Save the errands, dog walking, exercising, or gardening for later in the day.
Change your clothes and wash your hair upon returning home
When you’re done with the outdoor activities, place your clothes in the laundry and jump in the shower. Doing this will help reduce the allergens you bring into your home. It’s also a great practice to shower before bed to keep allergens out of your bedding ensuring a restful night of sleep.
Keep windows and doors shut
By keeping your windows and doors closed during the day, you’ll reduce the amount of exposure to pollen and other irritants in the home.
Use a vacuum with a high-efficacy particulate air (HEPA) filter to ensure that allergens are minimized and mop your floors regularly. If you’re highly sensitive, you may consider wearing a mask while vacuuming as allergens can kick up and become disturbed.
Use an air purifier
Many allergy sufferers find relief with the use of an air purifier as symptoms are reduced. Using a HEPA air purifier in the rooms that you use most often help clean the air and reduce the number of allergens that cause irritation.
Clean or replace HVAC filters more frequently than manufacturer recommendation
Depending on the climate where you live, you may need to change your air filters more frequently because of the presence of moisture, mold, dust, and other allergens. Cleaner air means better health for everyone at the end of the day.
Use over-the-counter or prescription allergy medications as directed
There are lots of options for OTC or prescription allergy medication to provide relief from allergy symptoms. Visit our retail pharmacy for advice and to purchase allergy medicine.
Consider immunotherapy through allergy shots
Discuss this therapy with your doctor. This method involves building up a tolerance in your immune system to the allergens, causing your allergy symptoms to diminish over time.
How to Prepare for Spring Allergy Season
The weather throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana fluctuates during the late winter and early spring. This change signals that the seasonal allergy season is around the corner. It’s best to then start preparing before pollen reaches the peak. Be aware when temperatures reach 50 degrees and when plants begin to bloom. Pollen is released into the air and you’ll note the symptoms described above — usually in early March. Consider starting medication as you’ll want to start taking it two weeks before you feel allergy symptoms. If you’re thinking about allergy shots, you’ll need to start even sooner.
Treat Your Seasonal Allergies with Baptist Health
If you’re experiencing severe spring allergy symptoms and are having difficulty treating them, call your nearest Baptist Health allergy specialist today to schedule an appointment.