Spring is here. Along with fragrant flowers, seasonal allergies are popping up once more. Trees and a host of other plants start to bud in March in many places in the United States. So, if you experience allergy symptoms during this time of year, you may be allergic to certain types of vegetation.
Nilesh Patel, MD, board-certified otolaryngologist, provides allergy relief for many patients. When your allergies overwhelm you, and your precautions and over-the-counter solutions don’t work, Dr. Patel provides a variety of solutions to calm your symptoms.
Following are some great tips to keep your springtime allergies in check so that you can enjoy this beautiful time of year.
Know your allergy triggers and avoid them
Unless you’ve been tested for allergies, it’s hard to know what triggers your allergic rhinitis — unless it’s something obvious, such as your symptoms going into overdrive whenever you’re around a cat or a dog.
The first step to keeping allergies in check is to get tested to determine what substances you’re allergic to. Once you know what your body reacts to, you can take steps to avoid them when possible.
If you’re allergic to trees or plants, working for a landscaping company isn’t a good idea. During the spring, when the trees and plants are budding, take commonsense precautions. If you have a yard, can your partner or a neighbor teen mow your lawn? If you’re outside during the day, put your clothes in the hamper and take a shower right when you get home.
Protect your home
Inside your home, keep the windows shut. Invest in furnace/air conditioning filters that screen out the most particulates; it’s worth your comfort to spend a few dollars more for top-quality filters. Make sure you change the filters when needed. Use a magic marker on the top edge of the filter to note the date you changed it the last time.
If you have trouble sleeping at night, use an air purifier in your bedroom.
Check the pollen count
Do you know that pollen counts are highest in the morning? If you like to exercise in the early morning, is the gym an option? Or can you change your routine to exercise later in the day?
You likely already check the weather forecast ahead of time. Make it a habit to check the pollen count for the next day, too. That way, you can plan accordingly. If there’s an outside chore you must do, wear a hat, gloves, and a high-quality mask while you’re working.
Have allergy medication that works for you on hand
Perhaps an oral antihistamine works well for you during the day. You may need a nasal spray at night. Good ones are available over the counter at the drugstore. A saline rinse can clear your stuffy nose and is great for your nasal hygiene.
Check your allergy relief supply. Are any bottles past the expiration date? Throw them away and make sure you have what you need.
Consider allergy shots if your symptoms are severe
Has your allergic rhinitis moved into an upper respiratory infection or one that affects the lower respiratory tract, like bronchitis? If you’re constantly sick in the springtime when your symptoms morph into illness, allergy shots may be the best solution for you, along with over-the-counter solutions.
Call one of Dr. Patel’s two Manhattan offices or request an appointment online today if your springtime allergies are making you miserable. We can bring your allergies under control and bring back your enjoyment in the season.