For those of you with allergic rhinitis, especially seasonal rhinitis, spring and summer can be really tough. We all know the common symptoms of hay fever: the sneezing, the coughing, the runny nose, the watery eyes, and the hives. But don’t despair: there are loads of ways to decrease both the exposure, and the symptoms, of your allergies this summer.
1: Know Your Enemy
It’s vital to figure out exactly what it is that you’re allergic to. A quick visit to the doctor should do the trick: all it takes is a physical exam or a skin test. Once you know exactly what to avoid, you’ll know the right actions to help prevent your hay fever.
And don’t feel alone! About one in ten people have hay fever, and that number has been steadily rising.
2: Secure Home Base
During allergy season, try to keep your windows and doors closed as much as possible. And dust often! We know it’s not the most exciting task, but dusting with a moist cloth will collect the dust and prevent the pollen from being dispersed throughout.
For those allergic to dust mites, having less carpeting in your home, vacuuming regularly, and choosing allergen-proof bedding can all help improve your symptoms.
3: Check Pollen Forecasts (online)
Check pollen forecasts every day, and on days with high levels, try to minimize your time outside. If you do go outside, then take a shower immediately after. If showering is too much of a hassle, at least try to have some inside-only clothes that you can slip into. The goal is to get rid of any allergens, minimizing the amount of time that you’re in contact with them.
4: NOSK Nasal filters
Unfortunately, simply “not going outside” really isn’t how life works, and it might not always work for you. There are other alternatives. Nasal filters can be a great alternative, and actually works in preventing allergic rhinitis.
One of the best out there is the NOSK. It’s a small filter that goes into your nose, but don’t worry, it’s surprisingly comfortable. NOSK’s design helps prevents allergens, dust, and pollutants from entering into your body, reducing allergen exposure and allergic rhinitis symptoms. It’s an effective solution and a totally medicine-free way of combating allergic rhinitis.
5: Avoid the Cigarettes
Just like with asthma (a whopping 80% of people with asthma also have a pollen allergy), smoking can irritate the lining of your nose, eyes, throat and airways. This makes your symptoms a lot worse. This counts for second hand smoke too, by the way.
6: Don’t Dry Clothes Outside
Especially not in the garden. Sounds obvious, but often forgotten. This will prevent pollen from being carried inside by your clothes. If you like the environmentally friendly method of outdoor drying and don’t want to you use a dryer, you always have the option of an indoor rack.
7: Keep Car Windows Closed
This will decrease your pollen exposure. Seems obvious, but is often ignored, especially in summer. Pollen filters for your cars air vents are also available, but these do need to be changed regularly. Just check with your local garage for further details.
Wraparound sunglasses are ideal for keeping the pollen out of your eyes. But potentially even more effective: try to avoid wearing contacts because they act like large sponges. Pollen and dust stick to contact lens and that leads to a whole lot of irritation.
9: Eye-Drops Can Change your Life
This works for everyone, but especially for those of you with contacts. Buy some handy eye-drops. They wash out any allergens and make your eyes feel a little less irritated. They come in tiny bottles, which are super easy to carry around. A temporary, but quick, fix for red and irritated eyes.
If you have an outdoor pet, try to keep them from coming into the house. Those cuties are hard to say no to, though, so if you do let them in try to give them a bath to reduce the amount of dander stuck in their fur. They’ll just carry it all around the house. Another idea is having a designated area in the house for the animals, where they are fewer carpets and upholstery.