After a long, cold winter, spring has finally arrived. Temperatures are rising, trees are blooming and, unfortunately, noses are running – a sign of seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever, and most commonly caused by tree pollen that iritates your nasal passages.
Pollen from birch, cedar, cottonwood, and pine are the top allergy triggers in the spring. In the past year, almost 17 million adults were diagnosed with hay fever. Staying clear of allergens is the best way to reduce symptoms, but that’s tough with billions of tiny pollen particulates in the air.
Here are 10 tips to fight the dreaded “pollen vortex” and help you get through the spring allergy season.
1. Check pollen counts:
Before heading out, check the local news or visit the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology’s National Allergy Bureau (aaaai.org/nab) for up-to-date readings. If levels are high, limit your time outside and take allergy medications.
2. Shut the windows:
Good advice for at home and in the car to help keep pollen out. Cool with the air conditioner instead.
3. Move outdoor activities to the afternoon:
Pollen counts are usually highest from 5 to 10 a.m. If you plan to garden, mow the lawn or take on other allergen-stirring chores, wear a mask.
4. Head out on rainy days:
Moisture helps clear pollen from the air. Dry, windy days are more likely to have a lot of pollen.
5. Strip and shower:
After being outside, it’s a good idea to toss your clothes in the hamper and rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
6. Dry laundry indoors:
As nice as the fresh-air smell may be, pollen can cling to your clothes, sheets and towels.
7. Use high-efficiency filters:
They can help keep indoor air cleaner by trapping pollen and other allergens if you use forced air-conditioning or heating systems.
8. Try nasal rinsing:
Cleansing your sinuses with a rinse, like Alkalol Nasal Wash, is a quick, natural and effective way to flush out mucus and allergens so you can breathe easier.
9. Run OTCs by your doctor:
Some over-the-counter oral decongestants can cause side effects, including increased blood pressure and insomnia; certain nasal sprays should be used for only a few days. Your doctor or allergist can help determine the best medication for you.
10. Treat early:
Most medications work best if taken before pollen hits the air. Ask your doctor when you should start treatment; some allergists recommend treatment about two weeks before symptoms typically surface.
Alkalol Nasal Wash is the only saline rinse formulated with natural extracts and essential oils for an invigorating clean. Alkalol provides natural relief from nasal congestion caused by sinusitis and allergies. Alkalol is available at Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and other fine drugstores and supermarkets.