By: Serena Crawford
Allergy season is upon us and it has many people feeling miserable. The itchy eyes, the runny nose, blocked ears, coughing, and sneezing are commonplace symptoms. The pollen count is incredibly high throughout the country. Many states have not seen rain for quite some time which means the pollen is simply sticking around instead of being washed away. Allergy sufferers are praying for rain so that they can get just a little bit of relief. There are some things that can be done at home to ensure that you are suffering as little as possible:
1. Testing – The best course of action is to first get tested to see what it is that you are allergic to. Some are allergic to flower pollen and others to grass pollen. Once you know what it is that is making you sick you can take more steps to control it.
2. Medication – Not everyone likes to take medication but there are antihistamines out there that can greatly reduce your symptoms and help you to get through the day. Medicines like Claritin and Zyrtec have given people relief from the worst of their allergy symptoms.
3. Immunotherapy – For severe cases of ragweed and grass allergies immunotherapy may help. The FDA has recently approved this treatment for severe allergy sufferers to try and get their symptoms under control. You receive a series of injections to suppress the histamines that are attacking your body when you come into contact with the allergen.
4. Avoidance – While being outside in the nice weather is great, it could be doing more harm than good. When it hasn’t rained for a while and the pollen count is high your best bet is to stay inside and keep the windows closed if possible. Limit your exposure to the allergens for better relief. Make sure to take your shoes off before you come into your house to avoid tracking pollen in.
5. Planning – If you know that you are going to be outside for an extended period of time try to plan as well as you can. Watch the pollen counts and when they are a little lower you can venture outside. After a rainstorm is best as the pollen will have been washed away from the time being. Make sure that you have non-drowsy antihistamines on you just in case you begin to feel symptoms.