Beat seasonal allergies and breathe easier in the Mid-Atlantic States
Summer brings warm weather, barbecues, group hikes, and bonfires. But for many people, it also brings sinus trouble and itchy eyes. If you’re dealing with seasonal allergies, don’t let it get you down. Try these treatment and prevention tips so you can get the most out of this summer.
Treat the symptoms
We’re all familiar with the signs — a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, and watery, itchy eyes. You know it’s not a cold, because you don’t have body aches or a fever. But if you don’t manage your symptoms, you might end up with a sinus infection.
Keeping your allergies at bay can also ensure that you’ll enjoy summer to its fullest. So when you start sneezing and sniffling, take action:
- Rinse your nose with saline drops to relieve nasal congestion.
- Take over-the-counter antihistamines like Claritin or Zyrtec.
- Drink plenty of water — staying hydrated will help loosen any congestion you experience.
- Try scented oils, like mint or eucalyptus, to open up nasal passages. In a pinch, strong breath mints like Altoids can help.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes. Instead, try eye drops or a cool compress.
- If you wear contacts, switch back to glasses when your eyes get irritated.
- If the skin around your nose and mouth gets dry, apply a thin layer of olive oil or petroleum jelly.
How you can help prevent seasonal allergies
Some allergies, such as hay fever, are the result of high pollen levels. If you’re sensitive to pollen, take these steps to help prevent a reaction:
- When a high pollen count is reported, keep your time outdoors to a minimum.
- When you come in from outside, take a shower and change into a fresh set of clothes.
- Keep your windows closed at home and in the car.
- Sweep, dust, and vacuum around doors and windows at least twice a week.
- Wear a mask when mowing your lawn, and avoid mowing when the pollen count is high.
If your symptoms are severe and persistent, your doctor may recommend prescription medication or allergy shots.
Remember, suffering from seasonal allergies doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the season. Just take good care of yourself. And when you have to stay inside, explore indoor activities — visit a museum, go to the movies, or take a dip in an indoor pool.
To learn more about managing your allergies, visit kp.org.
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