Get a Jump on Protecting Yourself from Spring Allergies
As Spring starts to hint at bursting into bloom, so comes the opportunity to take one’s workouts outdoors. No more being restricted to your dirty garage, dark basement, or that gym that may mean a 20-minute wait in line due to social distancing reasons.
No, now all the world is your oyster! You can run, bike, play basketball, and the list goes on. What a great time for active people to get out and get moving… unless you are an allergy sufferer.
Unfortunately, with Spring also comes a ton of pollen and other allergens that can send any allergy sufferer running back indoors in a fruitless effort to avoid itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, and that pesky runny nose that never seems to stop.
The question then is, how do I enjoy Spring and all it has to offer without feeling like hell in the process?
Well, we have a few suggestions for you that might help you get through this time of the year without a suitcase full of Kleenex in tow.
1. Make an appointment with an allergist before your symptoms kick in.
Let’s just get the obvious one out of the way – yes, visiting an allergist should be at the top of your list of things to do.
An allergist can help you figure what exactly you are allergic to in your environment, determine the proper treatments you need, and prescribe the medications you can take before things get too bad.
Recognize that pretreating with allergy medications before symptoms start to surface may help reduce or even prevent inflammation, alleviating your stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and other allergy symptoms.
Of course, if you want to treat more than just your symptoms, immunotherapy (i.e., allergy shots) can be a very effective option. They may just take a little time to kick in.
2. Reduce unnecessary exposure to pollen wherever you can.
Pollen is an invasive and pesky adversary. One thing you can do is to make sure your home has as little pollen in it as possible. This may mean:
- keeping windows and doors closed,
- changing and even upgrading the filters on your air conditioning unit, and
- changing your clothes and showering more frequently so you don’t spread pollen spores around the house after coming in from your outdoor adventures.
3. Get on the spring cleaning!
Yes, pollen is a prime enemy for the average allergy sufferer, but allergens come in many forms – including dust and dust mites, molds, and animal dander. All of these contaminants can be found in your home and make for a very miserable experience when combined with all the stuff floating around outside.
We recommend a deep spring cleaning. This means dusting everything in your home from top to bottom, washing curtains, sweeping floors and carpets, and cleaning/vacuuming furniture.
This way, you will remove any existing dust and pollen that has already set up shop in your home and help mitigate the impact of spring’s bloom.
While you are at it, be sure to check your basement, bathrooms, and kitchens for mold, and remove it promptly. Mold is a very problematic, even hazardous allergen.
4. Schedule your outdoor activities around peak allergy hours.
We all would love to just go outside whenever we want to enjoy the fresh spring air, but that may not be the wisest choice if you are a chronic allergy sufferer. It may not be convenient, but try not to schedule your runs or other outdoor activities at times when the pollen count is highest (typically 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.).
Also, be aware that during allergy season, hot, dry days will have higher pollen counts than cold, rainy days. If you want to be really proactive, bookmark a site or download an app that will let you track pollen levels daily so you know when it may be better to stay in or go outdoors.
Realize that, for allergy sufferers, Spring can be a bittersweet experience, but there are things you can do to help ensure you get more enjoyment than misery out of this time of year. You just need to exercise a little proactivity and commons sense.
Let us know how you make out with your allergy combating adventures – and, if you need further help on your personal health journey, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Bee Healthy Clinic nearest you.