For many, spring’s warm weather means parks, gardens, hikes, and playgrounds. For the 35 million allergy sufferers in the U.S., it also means a barrage of symptoms like runny noses, sneezing, drainage, red eyes, and dark circles under the eyes. Many women reach for their foundation and makeup to cover up the visible allergy symptoms. You don’t have to give into allergies by locking yourself indoors with a tissue box and feeling miserable. The good news is that allergies are completely treatable.
How Allergies Hurt Your Life
Allergies can affect your quality of life and interfere with your daily activities. If you have difficulty sleeping and you’re congested and coughing all night, you’re not going to think clearly and operate at your best during the day.
More worrisome, is the fact that allergies can also cause asthma attacks. Women are more likely to develop asthma than men, and therefore, visit urgent care for allergic asthma more often. Asthma symptoms include wheezing, coughing at night, or difficulty breathing after exercise. When you have nasal allergies, your risk for asthma is about 40%, higher than the general population
Another reason to visit an allergist is to determine if you have a year-round allergy to dust or mold. Two out of three people who believe they have seasonal allergy symptoms actually experience them year-round, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).
What You Can Do About Allergies
A lot of people with nasal allergies ignore their respiratory symptoms or shrug them off by saying, “It’s just my allergies”. But, not acknowledging the symptoms means you aren’t getting the right treatment and suffering needlessly. The good news is, when doctors identify and treat what people are allergic to, the other problems like asthma and sinus problems are often alleviated, and people can get back to having a normal life.
Besides visiting an allergist to know your triggers and taking antihistamines, try these tips to ease your symptoms and enjoy the spring season.
- Check the pollen forecast.Stay indoors in the afternoon when pollen counts are usually highest. The Weather Channel provides helpful allergy maps, and if you click on the Allergy Tracker near the bottom of the page, you can access info for your zip code.
- Wear big sunglasses on a windy day to protect your eyes.
- Cool wisely. Close your windows. Instead, turn on your air conditioner (the best setting is “re-circulate”) to keep pollen out. Clean air filters frequently.
- Change clothes and wash or shower away pollen after you’ve been outside. It’s best to shower at nightto rinse pollen from your body before you climb into bed.
- Take meds as recommended. Consistently take the medicines and treatments recommended by your health care provider. Take antihistaminesat night, because their effectiveness peaks in the morning. Nasal washes are a natural alternative.
What do you do to help alleviate your allergy symptoms?