Preparing for Allergy Season
In Texas, we long for Fall when the sweltering heat will come to an end. However, the beginning of Fall also means Fall allergies. Preparing ahead of time is the best way to protect yourself. Here are some recommendations that may help:
1.) Treat ahead of time.
Start your allergy medication about 2 weeks before the pollen starts. Over the counter antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays can help treat allergy symptoms but also work preventatively to reduce inflammation and the development of symptoms. Allergy shots are the only option that treat the underlying cause of allergies. These work great but can take awhile before they are effective. Typically, it takes a few months to start feeling relief with the traditional shot program, but there are accelerated options that can provide relief in weeks to even days. Ask your allergist about your options.
2.) Keep your windows closed.
It seems every Spring and Fall in North Texas we only have a few weeks where the weather is so perfect it is truly enjoyable to be outside. It can be tempting to open your windows during this time, but this can bring pollen inside your homes or cars.
3.) Do yard work the smart way.
Whether you love yard work or find it to be your most daunting chore, allergies can make it unpleasant. Timing is important. Pollen counts are usually highest mid-day and afternoon hours. Try to pick other times to do your yard work. Wearing a mask can help as well. An N95 would be ideal, and most of us have those now! Large sunglasses can help prevent the pollen and mold from irritating your eyes. Hats, long pants, and long sleeves can help prevent pollen from sticking in your hair and on your skin as well as from skin irritation. Remember to try to rake piles of leaves quickly to prevent mold and pollen from collecting on them. Mowing the lawn before it gets too long can prevent it from flowering and making pollen. When you are finished with yard work, make sure to shower and change into fresh clothes. Also using a nettipot or saline irrigations can help wash out some of the pollen you have inhaled in your nasal cavity.
4.) Try to reduce possible indoor allergens as well.
The more allergens you are exposed to, the worse you will feel. Controlling the allergens in your home can help control your symptoms as well. Doing a deep clean of your house can help remove dust allergens and any pollen that has already made its way inside. Using dust mite covers on your pillows and mattresses can help with dust mite allergy. Make sure there is no mold in your house, and ensure the humidity level is less than 50% to prevent mold growth.