Spring flowers, buds on trees, and sprouts of new grass may look pretty this time of year. But for some people, spring brings the worst of the seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis. Others may start the sneezing, wheezing and coughing associated with allergies more in summer and fall, when grasses and weeds are pollinating. There also are the unlucky ones who react to allergens like spores, dust mites, cockroaches and pet dander that cause symptoms throughout the year.
So what can you do if you don’t want to spend the whole springtime looking at flowers through the window? If your symptoms become severe, talk to your doctor. There are several prescription medications designed to treat these types of allergies. Over-the-counter allergy medications also are available to treat allergy symptoms. Other at-home treatment options may include using a sinus rinse or wash to gently clear mucus and allergens from nasal and sinus passages. Other ways to help avoid airborne allergens include:
- Keeping doors and windows closed and using an air conditioner at home and in the car.
- Not hanging laundry, especially bedding, outside.
- Limiting outdoor activity early in the morning when pollen counts are higher.
- Staying inside when it’s windy outside.
- Replacing air conditioner filters monthly and using a high-efficiency particulate air filter.
- Wearing a dust mask when outside, especially for activities like gardening.
- If possible, avoid mowing the lawn or raking leaves, since these activities send more pollen into the air.
- Using special cases to enclose pillows, mattresses and box springs to limit exposure to dust mites.
To learn more about allergies – and how to avoid seasonal triggers – visit the free, online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/SeasonalAllergies.
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Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218