Struggling with sneezes, sniffles, and itchy eyes? Help has arrived!
The return of warm weather means more time spent outside. But for 50 million allergy sufferers it means something else too—time to stock up on tissues. Pollen and mold spores trigger symptoms like congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes, and scratchy throat. While you can’t completely avoid the triggers, there are strategies that can help minimize your symptoms and maximize your relief.
Protect Against Pollen
Unless you live in a bubble, you’re going to be exposed to pollen. (One ragweed plant lives only one season but can produce a whopping one billion grains of pollen over that time.) One way to minimize contact is to stay indoors when the pollen count is highest, which is usually between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. If you do venture out, change your clothes and shower once you’re home to remove the allergens, making sure to thoroughly wash your face and hair so you don’t get pollen on your pillow. Finally, keep your windows closed and use your air conditioner to keep indoor air pollen-free.
Beware of Yard Work
Mold spores grow on damp leaves and compost piles, so you need to tackle yard work with caution. Wear a mask when you garden and bag up yard waste promptly. Even better, hire someone else to handle the job!
Watch What You Eat
Certain foods can aggravate allergies, so consider avoiding them during the season. Potentially problematic foods include bananas, tomatoes, melons, and zucchini. On the flip side, foods that have anti-inflammatory properties, like broccoli, celery, and garlic, may naturally help fight allergies.
Wear Your Shades
Research shows that wearing protective eyewear can fight your allergies by blocking out pollen along with UV rays. One study found that seasonal allergy sufferers who wore sunglasses required less antihistamine medicine and noted fewer eye sensitivities.
Medicate Ahead of Time
Don’t wait for a sneezing fit to deal with your symptoms. It takes time for your body to absorb medication. Take your 24-hour allergy tablet before bed, so that the medicine kicks in by morning when your symptoms are at their worst.