Allergy season is on its way! Actually, Northwest Arkansas has such an impressive level of biodiversity that there’s always something out there to be allergic to. For many of us, though, spring and summer are the worst. Here are some ways to cope:
Know when to stay indoors.
Staying inside is one of the best ways to avoid spring fever, but it’s not the best way to enjoy the beauty of Northwest Arkansas. Fortunately, most allergy sufferers suffer less at certain times of day than others.
It depends on what you’re allergic to, because pollen counts for some plants are higher in the evening and for other plants, they’re higher in the morning.
Experiment to find the time of day that works best for you, and enjoy outdoor activities when you’re less likely to suffer allergy symptoms. Also, you can check a forecast for plant, grass, and tree pollen levels in your city and plan accordingly.
Reduce your exposure to indoor allergens.
The coast isn’t clear from seasonal allergy-causing pollen once you step inside your home. It’s easy to track pollen indoors, especially on days when there’s a lot of pollen in the air. Be sure to remove and wash clothing immediately after yard work. Keep doors and windows closed on days with high pollen levels, or in the morning and evening when pollen counts are higher.
Wash sheets and pillow cases regularly to remove regular indoor allergens, but don’t leave sheets and bedding outside to dry. Line-drying laundry can accumulate pollen, which will then be brought indoors.
If you’re spending more time indoors during allergy season, it’s a good idea to clear your home of indoor allergens. Replace your air filters as needed, dust, vacuum, sweep, and clean regularly to get rid of dander, dust, and other allergens.
Maintain healthy habits and avoid stress.
Your body releases hormones when under stress. These hormones can be helpful at times, but too much stress can cause health problems. Stress can affect your body in many different ways, and stress can make allergy symptoms worse. Reduce stress with these stress management tips.
A healthy diet lends itself to good health. Eating right can strengthen your immune system and help keep seasonal allergies at bay. Try a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Sleep is also important to good health and can help with reducing the effects of allergies. Be sure to the recommended amount of sleep each day.
Take allergy medications if your doctor recommends them.
Some people benefit from pills and others get the most benefit from nasal sprays, while still others may get the most from a combination of the two. If you’re using nasal sprays, be sure to do the foldover! Put your head upside down and take a deep breath to let the medicine drain into your sinuses instead of your throat.
Know when to see your doctor.
Allergies can worsen ongoing health conditions – such as asthma – or lead to to infections. It’s also common to mistake a cold for seasonal allergies. If you experience severe symptoms, or your symptoms don’t let up, contact your healthcare provider.