Spring brings with it many wonderful things. The sun shines, the flowers bloom and there may even come a day when we no longer have to wear a coat to brave the outdoors. Awesome.
Unfortunately, not everything about spring is so great. With warmer temperatures and the return of plant life also comes allergy season. The constant sneezing, sniffling and itching you experience upon stepping outside is enough to make you turn right back around and hide under your bed covers until summer arrives.
But it doesn't have to be that way. Sure, living with seasonal allergies isn't easy, but there are some simple measures you can take to make them much more bearable. Experts predict that your allergy symptoms might even be more severe this year than usual. You don't want the gorgeous spring weather to pass you by, now do you? Here's seven tips for surviving this year's allergy season.
1. Find Out What You're Allergic To
This may sound like a no-brainer, but a lot of people know that once spring comes, they get all sniffly and teary-eyed, but they don't actually know what's causing their allergy symptoms. If you know specifically what you're allergic to, you can avoid it or receive the proper treatment to make your life a whole lot easier. Ask your primary care physician or visit an allergist to receive an allergy test, which involves either a skin test or a blood test.
2. Find Medication That Works For You
If you're looking for relief from your allergy syptoms, we've got modern medicine to take care of that. You can visit your doctor to get a prescription for medications that range from pills to nasal sprays to shots. There is also plenty of over-the-counter medication that will be helpful. Start with antihistamines and then look for decongestants if your nose remains stuffy. However, some decongestants can raise blood pressure and cause people to feel shaky, so you're going to want to use them sparingly.
3. Keep The Outdoors Outside
If pollen is your poison, it's easy for it to get on your clothes and body without you even noticing it. That means you're bound to track it into your home after a day spent in the great outdoors where it can stay on your furniture and make you susceptible to allergy symptoms even inside. However, there's a lot you can do to keep the outside from coming in. Be sure to wash yourself and your clothes regularly, especially right after you come inside. It might be tempting to hang dry your laundry outside in the warm spring sun, but that means they'll be like a pollen magnet. Even though you may be tempted to let the cool spring breeze waft through your house, you should keep your windows closed to prevent any pollen from getting in. That goes for your car too. Yeah, I know none of this is fun, but it's better than having to keep a tissue box near you at all times.
4. Don't Use A Fan
Speaking of windows, if you use a window fan in your home, don't. Window fans can invite pollen and mold spores into your home. It's better for your allergies to invest in some air conditioning to beat the heat.
5. Change Your Wardrobe
You should wear large sunglasses that cover your eyes when you're outside to keep the pollen out of them. That's an easy one since everyone looks cooler with shades on. Wearing a hat also helps keep pollen out of your hair, which can transfer onto your pillow if you don't wash your hair before bedtime. However, one fashion accessory that might be a little harder to get used to but no less important is wearing one of those surgical masks when you're cleaning or doing outdoor chores to help keep the allergens out of your face.
6. Saline May Be The Solution
If homeopathy is more your thing, you can try making your own saltwater nose spray by mixing eight ounces of water with half a teaspoon of table salt in a squirt bottle. You can also find pre-made solution at your local drug store if you don't feel like DIY-ing. Use the spray every morning when you wake up and before you go to bed to help get the allergens out of your nose.
7. Track Allergies With An App
There truly is an app for everything these days. As you get ready to head out for the day, you might want to consider looking at a handy dandy allergy tracking app that shows you the allergy forecast in your area for the day. That way, you can plan your treatment accordingly and maybe just stay inside if it's really bad out. WebMD and Pollen.com have good, free apps that also let you track your allergy symptoms day by day.