Spring is a favorite season for many of us. Even where snow lingers longer, there are signs of new life such as budding and blooming. Seasonal changes can bring allergies, too. Hopefully your allergies only act up in one season, but some people are triggered multiple times a year.
Allergic responses are part of the immune system. When the body is exposed to a substance that’s mostly harmless, and overreacts to it, that is an allergic response. The outdoor allergies usually affecting us this time of year are called allergic rhinitis or hay fever. Many experts agree there is no cure for allergies, just successful ways to limit their negative impact on our daily life.
The severity of reaction might determine how to approach to resolving the symptoms.
Act on Allergies
1. Limit your time outdoors when pollen counts are high. The National Allergy Bureau TM (NAB), of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAA&I), has comprehensive pollen and mold level reports. Information is collected from 85 counting stations throughout the U.S.
2. Consider wearing a mask outdoors during peak allergy season.
3. Remove shoes and clothing immediately after being outside. This limits the amount of pollen spreading throughout your home. Wash clothing as soon as possible.
4. Find out if your sinus reactions to pollen are allergic or non-allergic. An allergist/immunologist is a doctor who can help make that diagnosis, usually through skin or blood tests.
5. If you have pollen allergies, immunotherapy (allergy shots) can extend the time of relief between allergic rhinitis symptoms for many people. Sub-lingual immunotherapy is also approved for treating allergic response. It involves taking a daily pill and letting it dissolve under the tongue.
If your seasonal sinus symptoms are non-allergic, there are numerous over-the-counter remedies to provide relief. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about which ones are best for you. Doctors say the medications work best if taken before you go outside and expose yourself to pollen triggers.