I am ignorant when it comes to spring allergies; I will freely admit it. Unlike those people who have had their whole lives to prepare for the impending allergy attacks that the new season brings with it, I was a late bloomer (no pun intended). My allergies didn’t start until my early 30s, and I had virtually no idea how to prepare for them. Happily, my allergist is my new best friend and has provided valuable information. Between my doctor and Google, I think I’m finally going to get a jump on my allergies this year. The weather is warming up, the birds are singing and the trees are budding; it’s time to start getting ready! If, like me, you or someone in your family suffers from spring allergies, there are some great ways that you can prevent the worst of the attack. Here are five great tips that can help you help yourself this allergy season:
1. Get Tested
Did you know that many people who are allergic to pollen also have something called pollen food allergy syndrome? I had no idea this was even an issue! It’s incredibly important to get tested to find out exactly what you are allergic to. About one in five people who have a grass allergy are also allergic to some types of raw fruits and vegetables. The reactions can range from mild to life-threatening. Finding out what you are allergic to can also help you avoid your triggers.
2. Not All Air Filters are Created Equal
I made the silly mistake of assuming that any air filter I stuck in my air conditioner was a good one. After all, any air filter filters air, right? Wrong. Ionic air filters release ions which can trigger allergic reactions and cheap air filters are virtually useless. When you’re staring at the price tag on the more expensive filters, consider the money you’ll save on Benadryl.
3. Close the Windows
I wait all winter long for that first warm day when the furnace can get kicked off and the windows can be thrown open. Unfortunately, the fresh air carries pollen particles that are small enough to fit through the window screen. Because I loathe air conditioning, using it on only the most stifling of days, I had a good long talk with my doc about this one. Keep your windows closed in the early morning when pollen levels are at their highest. Open your windows in the afternoon and evening if you are aching for a bit of fresh air. This way, you’ll keep out a high amount of pollen particles while still letting your home breathe for part of the day.
4. Get Prescription Medication
For some, Benadryl is the go-to OTC drug for allergies. For others, Benadryl doesn’t even begin to touch the symptoms. I have a prescription medication from my allergist that works wonders. In fact, it works so well, I’ve relegated the Benadryl to the pet cupboard for use with potential bee stings and spider bites in the furry kids.
5. Start Early
Don’t wait until you have an allergy attack to take your medication. Talk to your doctor and find out the best time to take your medication. Should you start taking it a week or two before allergy season hits? Maybe your allergist will suggest taking your medication first thing in the morning. Often, when you take your medication proactively, you’ll stave off an attack altogether.
When it comes to seasonal allergies, knowledge is the prescription. The more you know, the better prepared you will be when spring is finally here. Follow these five tips and speak to your doctor for more advice; you’ll be skipping through the meadows with abandon!
Guest writer Megan Hoffsted is a freelance writer and blogger. She often writes for allergycontrol.com where you can find all sorts of useful allergy products. She also frequently writes for sumppump.org a site where you can find information on getting a sump pump installed in your basement or cellar.