Summertime, and the sneezin’ is easy. Unfortunately. For those with seasonal allergies, the warmer seasons can mean months of red itchy eyes, runny noses, stuffed sinuses, scratchy throats, headaches, and burial beneath mountains of used tissues, not to mention the constant, countless cries of “gesundheit” and “bless you.” What, if anything, can be done? Luckily, the steady choruses of nose blowing in the wind can be muted by using some common sense and taking a few simple precautions.
First Things First
So what are allergies? Essentially, they are a heightened sensitivity to certain substances – allergens – that trigger the body’s immune system to defend itself against them. For those with allergies, the immune system goes a little haywire, shifting into overdrive to combat the allergens’ presence.
If you think you have allergies, see your doctor and request a skin test. You need to do this for two reasons: First, you need to know if it is actually allergies you are dealing with or something else. Second, because allergens take many forms – pollen, mold, pet dander, dust mites, even volatile organic compounds in paints, cleaners, and other household products -- knowing exactly what you are allergic to will allow your doctor to prescribe the most effective treatment, making it easier to weather the ravages of ragweed or other allergens.
Lotemax Eye Medication for Allergies
Things To Do
After testing, or if you already know the source of your allergies, there are several things you can do to help make your life a little better and make summer allergies more tolerable.
Head to the drugstore – Using prescription or over-the-counter allergy medications can bring relief to most, if not all, of your symptoms. For example, if the primary problem is eye irritation, a medication such as Lotemax is helpful. There are many effective medications available, so talk with your doctor or pharmacist about what works best for your particular situation.
Tighten up the homestead – Check your home for places where air, and allergens, can drift in from the outside – around windows and doors, the attic or basement, etc., and seal them off. One of the best ways to do this is to have an energy audit performed on your home. It will pinpoint the exact location of leaks.
Kick your shoes off – When you come in from outside, you’re dragging pollen and other allergens with you. Define a designated zone near entryways and leave shoes and socks there.
Consider changing clothes – If the day has been particularly troublesome, change your clothes and wash them when you come home. You may even want to shower as well to wash off any summer allergens that are clinging to your skin and hair.
Monitor pollen forecast and daily pollen counts – Local weather broadcasts, newspapers, and other outlets are good sources for levels of mold and pollen. Check them regularly and adjust your outside plans accordingly. If you exercise regularly, consider going to the gym when your allergies are acting up or choose a time of day when pollen counts are at their lowest.
Upgrade filters – Make sure to change the filters in you HVAC system as scheduled, and even upgrade to more efficient filters. When vacuuming, use the highest-rated HEPA bags allowable for your machine, and even wear a mask when vacuuming as an added precaution.
Wear filtration masks – When working in your yard, wearing face masks will keep stirred up pollen and molds from assailing you and making life miserable.
Be pet savvy – If you are allergic to pet dander (actually, the true allergen is a certain protein in pet dander), you can still enjoy the company of animals, as there are many breeds of dogs, cats, and birds that are hypoallergenic.
Be realistic – If your allergies are taking a toll, take care of yourself just as you would with any illness. Get plenty of rest and take allergy medications to relieve symptoms. If you are feeling miserable, don’t exacerbate your condition by trying to tough it out.
While the summer allergy season is as inevitable as taxes, you do not have to cough, hack, wheeze, sneeze, or sniffle yourself to death when your allergies flare up. Through pre-emptive measures, working with an allergy specialist, taking the proper allergy medications and using available money-saving programs and coupons, you’ll be able to breathe easier without paying through the nose.