Top tips for managing seasonal allergies 

Seasonal allergies like hayfever or allergic rhinitis can turn the beauty of spring and summer into a miserable experience. As flowers bloom and trees blossom, so do the allergens that trigger sneezing, itching, congestion, and other unpleasant symptoms. 

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) more than 100 million people deal with allergies every year in the US alone. The triggers vary, but pollen is a big one.

While it’s impossible to escape pollen and other allergens completely, there are some strategies that can help to reduce the impact:

1. Monitor pollen counts

Stay informed about pollen levels in your area. Many weather websites, apps, and local news stations provide daily pollen forecasts. Limit outdoor activities on days when pollen counts are particularly high, usually during warm, dry, and windy days.

2. Keep windows closed

As tempting as it may be to let fresh air into your home, keeping windows closed during peak allergy season can significantly reduce the amount of pollen and other outdoor allergens that enter your living space. Consider using air conditioning with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to help trap allergens indoors.

3. Use HEPA filters

Invest in HEPA filters for your home’s heating and cooling systems. These filters can capture airborne allergens such as pollen, pet dander, and mold spores, improving indoor air quality and reducing allergy symptoms.

4. Practice good hygiene

After spending time outdoors, shower and change your clothes to remove any pollen that may have settled on your skin and clothing. Additionally, consider using a saline nasal rinse to flush out pollen and other allergens from your nasal passages.

5. Limit exposure to allergens

Avoid outdoor activities that are known to trigger your allergy symptoms, such as mowing the lawn or gardening. If these tasks are unavoidable, consider wearing a pollen mask to minimise exposure to allergens.

6. Keep pets clean

Pets that spend time outdoors can track pollen and other allergens into your home. Bathe your pets regularly and wipe their paws with a damp cloth after they’ve been outside to reduce the amount of allergens they bring indoors.

7. Consider allergy medications

Over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays can provide temporary relief from allergy symptoms. If your symptoms are persistent or severe, consult with a healthcare professional who can recommend prescription medications or allergy shots (immunotherapy) to help manage your allergies.

8. Try natural remedies

Some people find relief from seasonal allergies through natural remedies such as local honey, acupuncture, and herbal supplements like butterbur and quercetin. While the effectiveness of these remedies varies from person to person, they may be worth exploring as complementary treatments to conventional allergy medications.

9. Consult an allergist

If you struggle with severe or persistent allergy symptoms that interfere with your daily life, consider consulting an allergist for personalised advice and treatment options. Allergists can perform allergy testing to identify specific triggers and develop a management plan tailored to your needs.

10. Stay informed and adapt

Allergy triggers can vary depending on the time of year and geographic location. Stay informed about seasonal allergens in your area and be prepared to adjust your allergy management strategies accordingly.

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