Allergy season is upon us! Many patients contend with the havoc seasonal allergies wreak on their wellbeing this time of year. If you are someone who struggles with this yearly, and needs help with making it through these crucial first weeks of warm weather, here are some tips that can help make it more bearable.
For many this goes without saying, but for many others it may not occur to you to check back in with your allergist/primary care physician to have your allergy medication re-calibrated. If you have been taking the same medication to help with your allergies your body may have become accustomed to the dosage, or the medication altogether, and it may not be working for you now as well as usual. Of course higher pollen counts can also contribute to this and your medication may not be the issue, but in either case a check-up with your physician to make sure you’re on the right track may not be a bad idea.
Consumption of local honey is suspected to help your body get a “preview” of the pollen in the air where you live. This method is said to be more helpful for the end of winter in the weaks leading up to spring as a pre-emptive; so it may be more helpful for next season. Assuming you don’t have any underlying allergies, or that you don’t have any severe reactions to bee pollen, try finding a local vendor for natural honey native to your area and using it in small regular doses; perhaps in a tea (hot or iced) you like.
Upon arriving home for the day take off your shoes and clothes that you wore. This will limit repeated exposure from any particles on your clothing while you are in the house. Try putting your clothes in the washer each day (adding up to a full load by the end of the week) or into separate hampers that you keep away from the common areas of the house (IE: in your laundry room or your basement if that is where your washer and dryer are stored). It may additionally be helpful to shower upon arriving home as well. You’ll be able to wash off any particles that may have stuck to your skin and the steam may help open and drain your sinuses.
Speaking of sinuses try salt water rinses for your oral and nasal cavities. Neti pots, or equivalent products, may help with flushing out your sinuses. Gargling with salt water will help with sore throat relief from incessant coughing as well.
As always, if your symptoms worsen or become unusually more intense than usual take these signs seriously and consult your physician. If you feel you’re having an anaphalactic reaction seek emergency medical care immediately. Better safe than sorry.