Hay Fever Gotcha Down?
Fall allergy season is upon us, and if you're one who suffers, you know all too well what this entails. Itchy eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat, sneezing. Here are 7 tips for fall allergy relief.
Mouth breathing becomes the norm at least until a few hard frosts squelch the offenders. Namely ragweed and mold, both of which reach their zenith just as we ready for back-to-school schedules. Hay gets a bad wrap on this one and has nothing to do with what we typically refer to as hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis.
There are some simple ways to curb your symptoms and help make fall a bit more bearable:
- Begin taking allergy medication two weeks before the onset of symptoms and don't stop until pollen and mold counts have been down for at least two weeks.
- Pay attention to pollen counts. If they're high, reconsider that outdoor activity at least until things settle.
- Do not hang clothing and sheets out to dry. Pollen will stick to the fabric and wreak havoc on your sinuses.
- Don't drive or sleep with the windows open and use the air conditioner when necessary.
- Avoid yard work on windy days when mold and pollen spores can travel up to 100 miles from the source.
- Wear gloves and a reusable pollen/dust mask when doing yard work. Better yet, avoid yard work altogether if your allergies are severe. Sometimes it's just better to pay someone to do the dirty work.
- Take a shower after working outside. Your hair makes a wonderful hideout for mold and pollen. Best to send them packing down the drain.
When all else fails, see an allergist who can help you create a treatment plan.
You might also consider using a Neti pot to clear your sinuses. It takes some getting used to but can make a world of difference in managing symptoms.
The teapot-like container can often be found at pharmacies and health food stores and comes with saline packets. If you decide to try it, be sure to always use distilled or sterilized water, never tap water, to dissolve the saline and follow the package directions.
Inhaling water sounds crazy right? But you're not actually inhaling it, just allowing the water to filter through your nostrils. Lean over a sink and tilt your head. Position the spout in the upper nostril, breath through your mouth and gently pour the saltwater solution in so that it runs in the top nostril and out the bottom. Repeat on the other side. I know several allergy sufferers who swear by it and use the pot both morning and night to rinse their sinuses of pollen, dust and mold.
When you're desperate for relief, it's well worth a shot and the $15 investment won't break the bank.
Which plants cause fall allergies? See the big offenders.