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Don't Let Seasonal Allergies Keep You Off The Playground

Many people look forward to spring as the season brings warmer weather, budding flowers, and blooming trees. Spring also brings about seasonal allergies which are suffered by millions of people. For lots of people, seasonal allergies mean runny nose, sneezing, congestion, and other similar symptoms. In the US, spring allergies normally begin around February and last through the early summer. While seasonal allergies can make you miserable, there are steps that can be taken to keep symptoms under control. Once you know how to control allergy symptoms, you will be able to spend some time enjoying the warmer weather.

There are several seasonal allergy triggers and while the severity of allergy season can vary depending on the part of the country, there are certain climate factors that can have an influence on how bad your allergy symptoms might be.

Climate Factors

  • Pollen levels tend to be higher in the morning hours.
  • Ragweed, grass, and tree pollens tend to thrive on warm days and cool nights.
  • Rain will wash away pollen however pollen counts can still soar after a rainfall.
  • High humidity and heat cause mold to grow much faster than in cold weather.
  • Airborne allergens are grounded on days with no wind.
  • On warm, windy days, pollen counts are much higher.
  • Allergens are everywhere, so relocating to avoid them would not generally be successful.

Managing and Treating Seasonal Allergies

The first step in managing seasonal allergies is knowing your triggers. It is very possible that there is more than one substance causing issues. Allergists are useful in helping find the sources of suffering. Once you know the sources, you can try to treat the issue as opposed to just treating the symptoms. To help manage symptoms if you suffer from allergies, you should do the following:

  • Try to keep doors and windows shut at home and in the car during allergy season.
  • Weather reports normally include information on mold and pollen counts. Keeping an eye on counts will let you know what to expect for any given day.
  • After working outdoors, or taking the kids to the playground, take a shower and make sure to wash hair. This will help reduce the chances of you transferring pollen and other allergens to bedding, furniture, and other items in the home.
  • Try to stay indoors during the time of day that pollen counts are the highest.
  • When mowing the lawn or doing other outdoor chores, consider wearing a filtered mask to prevent pollen irritation.
  • Don't hang laundry outside to dry as pollen can stick to towels, clothes, and sheets.
  • Use a dehumidifier to keep air in the house dry, and use HEPA filters in bedrooms, and in vacuum cleaners.

In addition to avoiding allergy triggers, there are treatment options. One option is to simply treat the symptoms of allergies with medications. There are countless over the counter medications available to help with allergy symptoms. Other, stronger medications, may require a prescription. Most doctors will recommend taking these medications at least two weeks before symptoms are expected to begin. These medications typically only treat symptoms. Those that want to avoid using medications should try nasal irrigation to help ease nasal congestion. This involves rinsing your nasal passages with a saline solution that flushes out allergens and mucous from the nose. To treat the underlying causes of allergies, you will need to visit an allergist so that your allergens can be identified. Once allergens are identified, immunotherapy, or allergy shots are recommended. These shots gradually expose you to your allergens and over time you will be able to tolerate them rather than deal with symptoms such as sneezing and runny nose.

Seasonal allergies traditionally include pollen, grass, and mold but there are also other allergy triggers that are tied to the spring season. These include:

  • Smoke from campfires
  • Insect stings and bites
  • Chlorine in swimming pools

Additional Information About Seasonal Allergies:

Find more about the author: Kim Hart