Spring is upon us, and Charlotte residents agree it’s our most beautiful time of year! The days are longer and warmer, and the trees and flowers are blooming. However, for nearly one-third of you, spring is not enjoyable due to spring allergies. Allergy sufferers experience a range of symptoms from sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, stuffy nose, nasal drainage, fatigue, headache, itchy throat, and even cough and wheezing in severe cases. Not fun!Here are a few ways to combat those spring allergies so that this season is better.
- Start Early. Treat your allergy symptoms before they begin. If you know the spring season is a difficult time for your allergies, start taking a daily allergy medicine ahead of time. Taking a daily antihistamine or nasal spray can reduce symptoms of seasonal allergies. There are several types of allergy medications in over-the-counter forms, but it is important to talk with your doctor or allergist to find the right medications for you.
- Monitor Pollen Levels. Watch pollen levels using Charlotte’s local pollen tracker. If you know you are more allergic to certain pollens, you can limit your exposure when those pollen counts are high. Also, exercising in the evening when pollen counts are lower may be more tolerable.
- Stay indoors and limit outside exposure. Limiting exposure to pollen is the first step in reducing allergy symptoms. Keep your house and car windows closed when pollen counts are high. If you need to get outside for sports or yard work, wear a mask to avoid direct pollen inhalation. Often, a rain shower can help clear pollen and so the days after a good rain can be more tolerable for pollen sufferers.
- Shower after outdoor activity. This allows you to rinse away any pollen that may be on your skin and on your hair. Pollen is a sticky substance. You and your animals bring pollen inside and transfer it to your bed or sofa where continued exposure may cause even more sneezing and congestion. Rinsing off after outdoor activity is an easy and effective way to protect yourself and your family.
- Consider seeing an allergist to determine your allergy profile. This will allow you to understand your pollen triggers and manage your symptoms. Allergy shots or immunotherapy allows patients to control their allergies with less medication and enjoy activities that they avoid due to their allergies. Immunotherapy is an individualized therapy, which can provide lifelong results for many allergy sufferers. Also, keep in mind that oral immunotherapy is available for patients with specific allergies, such as grass or ragweed pollen. The important thing to know is that you have to start it several months before pollen season starts.
Following these tips can help you to enjoy the spring months without as much sniffling, coughing and sneezing. If you are interested in seeing an allergist about your spring allergy symptoms, contact us today. Carolina Asthma & Allergy has 12 locations around the greater Charlotte area, and can help solve your spring allergy problems.