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Surviving and thriving: Seasonal allergy 101

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Although we could not possibly be more excited about spring’s arrival, with the warmer weather comes an unfortunate and unwelcome visitor: seasonal allergies. Sneezing, red and watery eyes, congestion, headaches and even hives have been known to knock even the healthiest individuals down for a few days. 

But never fear! At Adventist Health, we’re disclosing some of the most reliable natural and traditional methods that will help you not only survive your allergies, but thrive all season long. 

Nasal rinses

You’ve probably heard of a neti pot, but there are actually a number of great saline rinse options to keep allergies at bay. If you’re prone to seasonal allergies, purchase a nasal rinse apparatus that includes saline packets. During peak season, use the nasal rinse daily – even if you aren’t experiencing any symptoms. It will keep your sinus cavity clear of pollen and any other irritants. Make sure to only use distilled water and always follow the instructions carefully. 

Wash your hair 

It sounds simple, but pollen can get caught in your hair, particularly if you’ve been outside or if you use a lot of gel or mousse. Washing your body of irritants ensures you don’t have any stowaways, plus it alleviates congestion.           

Try a spray 

Ask your doctor if a nasal spray antihistamine or steroid could be right for you. A great method to combat allergies is to first use a nasal rinse to clear the sinus passage and follow it with a doctor-recommended nasal spray. 

Wear a mask 

In extreme cases or on high pollen count days, it may be wise to wear a mask. An N95 mask will keep pollen out of your nose and mouth, especially if you have to be outdoors. 

Antihistamines 

Taking a daily doctor-recommended antihistamine can safeguard against the effects of seasonal allergies. While many antihistamines can be purchased over the counter, it’s always advisable to consult your doctor regarding which pill and dosage is right for you.

De-stress 

Did you know stress can play a factor in the severity of your seasonal allergies? It’s true! Studies have found that after a particularly strenuous or stressful task, an individual’s allergies are heightened. So, take a minute to decompress and re-center. 

Safeguard bedding 

To avoid dust gathering on bedding, try one of the many pillow and mattress encasements sold at department stores.  

Allergy shots 

If you simply cannot find relief, ask your doctor if taking weekly, monthly or quarterly allergy shots could be right for you. 

Air purifiers 

Purchasing an air purifier and placing it in your bedroom is an excellent way to cycle out irritants and enable allergy sufferers to get a better night’s sleep. 

Wash, wash, wash 

From bedding to clothes, washing in temperatures of 140 degrees eradicates dust mites and pollen that could be lingering on the materials you encounter daily. 

Groom the pup 

Pet lover? Make sure all your animals are well groomed and washed, especially during allergy season. Your indoor/outdoor animals could be bringing pollen into your home. 

Exercise early or late 

Pollen counts are at their lowest early in the day or later in the evening. If you enjoy exercising in the great outdoors, make sure to plan accordingly! 

Wear sunglasses

Something as simple as wearing sunglasses when you’re outside can seriously decrease the amount of pollen that could get into your eyes. 

Those seasonal allergies won’t know what hit them! With a few simple adjustments, this spring you’ll go from simply surviving to all out thriving.