Five Tips to Minimize the Effects of Allergy Season
Do you suffer from frequent sneezing, nasal congestion, watery, red or swollen eyes? Has your car turned a nice shade of dark yellow with a slight tint of green? All of these are clear signs that pollen season has arrived. If you think outdoor allergies are getting worse every year, you may be correct. Recent studies suggest that climate change and increased carbon dioxide levels are causing spring seasons to arrive sooner. Trees usually begin pollinating in mid-March and end in late May. Grass and spring weed pollens start to appear in early May and continue through early summer. The best way to fight the symptoms of allergy season is to find ways you can reduce or even eliminate allergens in the air. Here are some simple tips that can help you avoid symptoms while still enjoying the great outdoors this spring and summer:
- We know it’s tempting to open windows during nicer weather. However, doing so allows pollen to get into your home and car. It is recommended that you keep the windows in your home and car closed to prevent pollen from getting in. Use air conditioning to filter pollen from the air in your home.
- Shower and wash your clothes after spending time outdoors. Pollen tends to collect in your hair and skin and can end up on your furniture, which may worsen symptoms long after your exposure.
- Avoid being outside during peak pollen times. Peak pollination occurs for a few hours after sunrise and during the hours after sunset. Enjoy the outdoors on rainy, cloudy and windless days when pollen is minimized.
- Avoid activities that cause pollen to stir up and reenter the air, such as lawn mowing or leaf blowing. Use a facial mask and goggles if unable to avoid these activities. Also, make sure to avoid touching your face and eyes when gardening.
- Wash your eyes with saline eye drops after being outdoors to rinse away pollen and decrease irritation. You can also wash away pollen in your nasal and sinus passages with saline sinus rinse.
Allergists recommend beginning preventive measures in early March prior to the start of pollen season. According to Stamps Health Services Senior Director Dr. Holton, “over the counter medications such as non-sedating antihistamines, including loratadine, cetirizine, or fexofenadine, and nasal steroid sprays such as Flonase can be helpful. Oral prescription medication, such as montelukast sodium, can also be helpful. For those who continue struggling with allergies after these measures have been tried, it is recommended that you speak with an allergy specialist to pursue allergy injections or additional medication.” Stamps Health Services can provide allergy shots after you are under the care of an Atlanta-based Board Certified Allergist and have initiated allergy shots with the allergist. For a list of local allergists near Georgia Tech check out health.gatech.edu/allergy.
- Workflow Status:Published
- Created By:Christine Kapurch
- Modified By:Christine Kapurch