The sun is finally out again, and after a long winter, spring is here! It's tempting to throw on shorts and enjoy the great outdoors, but for some of us, spring has a major drawback: seasonal allergies.
Nearly 30% of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies; a number that is increasing every year. For most, the symptoms are not too severe and can be eased with over-the-counter allergy medicine. For others, the symptoms can be debilitating, and sometimes in need of stronger medicines.
While antihistamines are fine to use occasionally, be careful to not abuse them. They can be mildly addictive and long-term use of antihistamines can affect mental cognition. Other medicines such as Claritin or Zyrtec are made to be taken daily, especially during peak allergy season.
It's also important to take steps to avoid worsening your allergies. To keep your symptoms at bay, try these tips:
- Wear sunglasses while outside to keep pollen out of your eyes
- Get rid of indoor plants that produce pollen
- Take precautions to keep outdoor pollens out of your home, such as removing your jackets before entering the house, or showering after you come in
- Wash your pillowcases to remove excess pollen that may stay in your hair
- Pollen counts are highest between 5 am and 10 am, so limit your outdoor exposure between those times
- Wash your hands and face after you've been outside to remove pollen
Allergies can go from a mild problem to a serious one, so if your allergies are still interfering with your life a week after you've been treating them, it could be time to see a doctor. To get the most out of your visit, come with a list of what medications you've been using and how they have affected your allergies. Through CareSync, you can keep track of your medications and journal your symptoms to relay to your doctor during your visit. Find out more about CareSync here.