If the weatherman holds true, spring will be coming to NYC this week.
With the rain and warmer temperatures in the forecast, trees and grasses will begin their seasonal production of pollen. Once that pollen catches a breeze, allergy season opens.
How were your allergies last year? If you find yourself already dreading spring, you aren’t alone. I am constantly asked “How can I stay ahead of my allergies?”
To answer that question, I’ve compiled a list of suggestions that may help you avoid your allergy trigger. If these actions don’t satisfactorily ease your symptoms, give me a call – there are many new treatments and medications available. You may find relief is possible without a battery of allergy shots.
The first – Know what triggers your symptoms. Early spring symptoms can be triggered by tree pollen, grasses, mold and even dust mites (stirred up from spring cleaning). If you aren’t certain what’s causing your discomfort, get a skin test. A skin test can assist in proper diagnosis and treatment. Allergy drops and tablets (called sublingual allergy treatment) are great solutions for grasses and even some pet allergies.
Next – avoid being outside when pollen level are at their peak. The best times for outdoor activities are before dawn, late afternoon and early evening.
Something else to consider, the material making up your clothing, synthetic fabrics coupled with movement (fabric rubbing against itself) can create a small electric charge. This charge can actually work as a magnet, drawing pollen to the “charged” fabric. Consider natural fibers during allergy season.
If you are heading out, gardening or doing some yard work, take an antihistamine ½ hour before going outside. An antihistamine can offer some support by blocking your body’s allergy response, suppressing your allergy symptoms. A mask can also help. Use a mask rated 95 by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for the best protection. Do not touch your eyes. Again, if you find the antihistamine makes you drowsy, there are alternatives available to you without the OTC antihistamine side effects.
When you come in from the outdoors, leave your shoes at the door and shower, making certain to wash your hair. Wash your clothes. Vacuum often and use machine washable furniture and floor coverings.
We’ve had a long winter, and springtime in New York is not to be missed – or observed from afar. If these tips don’t ease your symptoms, or if you find your allergies are affecting your quality of life, see an allergist (I welcome you to contact me for a consultation). There are a number of good treatment options that are unobtrusive yet effective that can get you back outside.Tweet