4 Ways to Soothe Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal Allergies, Sniffling, sneezing, and red, watery eyes? Yep, it’s allergy season. “Allergies are an immune
reaction to a foreign substance-for the seasonal kind, think pollen, dust, grass.
The immune system misidentifies an allergen as a threatening invader and kicks into
overdrive, producing antibodies to attack it,” says Jake Deutsch, M.D., a board-certified emergency room doctor and founder of Cure Urgent Care in New York City.
“This is what triggers your symptoms.” Here’s how to find relief.
PROTECT YOUR SNIFFER
Keep your nasal cavity clean to help keep symptoms at bay. “A product like Zicam Nasal AIIClear swabs can help ease nasal dryness or irritation from congestion by cleansing with menthol and moisturizing,” says Dr. Deutsch.
“Using a neti pot to rinse out irritants and excess mucus can also be helpful.”
TRACK POLLEN COUNTS
If you know exactly which allergens you react to (an allergist can narrow it down), plan to avoid outdoor activity when that pollen level is highest.
In general, pollen counts are most elevated right after dawn in rural areas and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. in urban settings, and they are low just after a rainstorm.
Or download a free app such as pollen.com’s Allergy Alert.
When outside, wearing a hat can help prevent pollen from settling on your hair, and sunglasses can help keep it out of your eyes.
When coming indoors, shed your outdoor outfit, kick off your shoes, and shower to get rid of any pollen on your clothes or body.
TIME YOUR MEDS
If you rely on antihistamines to control your symptoms, it’s a good idea to start taking them few days before the season starts.
This primes your defense system and, if you’re lucky, may prevent your body from producing symptom-inducing histamines at all when you do come in contact with allergens.
Talk to your doctor to find the best over-the-counter or prescription
medication-pills, nasal sprays, and eye drops are common options.