You may be looking at the sunshine outside of your window right now, and suddenly the garden, bike or grill are calling your name. However, if you live with seasonal allergies, these activities might cause more misery than joy. The following tips can help you better deal with seasonal allergies, no matter when they might arise.
- Hydrate. Additional liquid can thin the mucus in your nasal passages if you feel stuffy or have postnasal drip. Drink water, but especially avoid soda or alcohol, as these can cause you to become dehydrated. Additionally, warm liquids such as tea or a broth have the soothing benefit of steam.
- Clean. Pollen can collect on the surface of your skin, hair and clothes throughout the day. Bathing before bed can help rid you of it, as does wearing clean clothes every day and changing your sheets regularly.
- Go barefoot inside. If you have an enclosed area such as a porch or garage outside of your house, take your shoes off and leave them there. That way, you won’t drag in any pollen that may have gathered on them throughout the day.
- Close the windows. There’s nothing like opening the windows on a nice day to make the house smell fresh, but you could be agitating your allergies by doing so. Check the pollen count before leaving your windows ajar, and keep them shut if it’s too high.
- Change filters. Many people regularly change out the filters in their air conditioning unit or furnace, but overlook other places where such replacements need to be made. These can include your vehicle’s cabin air filter and filters within various appliances such as vacuum cleaners and humidifiers. Avoid disposing of used filers inside home. Take outside and dispose of used filters directly into trash. Side note: use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to better filter out pollen and allergy triggers.
- Rinse with saline. You can purchase a saline kit at your local pharmacy or make one yourself using distilled, sterile or previously boiled warm water, salt and a neti pot. Flushing out your sinuses can rid you of mucus build-up, clear out lingering bacteria and decrease your postnasal drip. It’s not a pleasant task to do, but it is an effective method of dealing with allergies.
- Dehumidify. All too often, the culprits behind your allergies are mold spores that build up during the wetter months of the year. Aim to keep your home’s humidity level at 60 percent or below. Some HVAC units can have house-wide dehumidifiers installed in them. If this isn’t an option, you can also buy small appliances that dehumidify individual rooms.
- Move your plants. Houseplants are great for circulating oxygen within a home and increasing its aesthetic appeal, but they can also harbor allergens. If you think your plants are triggering your allergy symptoms, move them outside or to the porch.
Should you need additional information about dealing with allergies, consult your physician, or ask a local pharmacist, such as those at the Johns Hopkins Pharmacy locations in Baltimore and surrounding areas.