Itchy, watery, scratchy red eyes can mean only one thing: Spring has sprung. Allergy season can dampen the joys of spring, even though we welcome the warmer weather and sunshine. Every year, 35 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies as trees bloom and pollen is released into the air (Source: Web MD).
Unfortunately, there is no cure for spring allergies but there are a few ways to reduce the severity of your allergies.
- When the pollen count is high, stay indoors. Pollen count is usually higher in the mornings, so keep that in mind when you need to go out.
- Keep doors and windows closed during the spring months to keep pollen outside.
- Use an air purifier in your home to filter out pollen and allergens.
- Clean your air filters in your home and car often. Keep surfaces dusted to prevent pollen from collecting.
- Vacuum carpets and floors often. Wear a mask when vacuuming and dusting, since these activities can stir up dust, pollen and mold.
- When replacing floor coverings, choose tile and hardwood over carpet. Allergens get trapped in carpet and will exacerbate allergies.
- Wash your hair more often than normal during spring months. Pollen can settle in your hair and aggravate your symptoms.
- Over-the-counter medications like antihistamines, nasal sprays, eye drops and decongestants may be sufficient to alleviate your symptoms during spring allergy season.
- Try nasal irrigation to clear your sinus passages. Mix warm water, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda and administer the solution through a squeeze bottle or neti pot.
- If symptoms persist, see an allergist to discuss natural remedies or allergy shots. Your doctor may do a scratch test to see which allergens cause the most intense allergic reactions and suggest a treatment plan.