It’s that time of the year when most of the US population will have one other thing than COVID-19 to worry about- seasonal allergies or hay fever. Sneezing fits and watery eyes are a common scenario during the early summer days. And the commonality of seasonal allergies has made the masses accept it as an inevitable fate. One that comes once a year, causes enough discomfort and leaves to start the cycle again next year. But not anymore. Here’s why.
One, visiting a doctor isn’t a hassle anymore. Telemedicine is at its peak and you can get the best online doctors for allergies very conveniently. There’s no need to tolerate the discomfort anymore. Second, you can deal with the seasonal allergies at home to some extent. How? Let’s take a look.
Identify if it’s an allergy
Before you start following the allergy precautions, it is important to identify if you have an allergy or not. You can do that by paying attention to your body and preparing a checklist of your symptoms and the duration.
Symptoms of common cold and allergies overlap. Now that COVID-19 is also in the picture, identification may be a bit difficult. But there are certain factors that can help you decide. Allergies often lead to inflammation like swelling and redness of the skin, eyes or face. Watery and itchy eyes are also a sign of an allergy. Most people also suffer from clogged sinuses and dry cough. However, the mucus in case of allergies is usually clear unlike the yellow color during cold. An important point of distinction between cold, COVID-19 and allergy is that the latter does not cause fever or difficulty in breathing. These factors will help you identify an allergy.
Once you keep a tab on the symptoms, note down their duration. A common cold must subside within two weeks. But if the symptoms persist for longer, you must contact a doctor and follow the following measures while at home.
Strengthen your immune system
Allergies are the inappropriate response of your immune system to the external environment. And if you let the allergies take over your body every year, your immune system may suffer which impairs your only defense against numerous diseases. So take time in lockdown to strengthen your immune system.
In case of seasonal allergies, one way to support the immune system is immunotherapy. This method slowly desensitizes your body to the allergens and frees your from the allergies. You can also strengthen your immune system by changing your lifestyle. Get active and indulge in physical activities. Fill your plate with nutritious food like nuts, yogurt, legumes, greens etc. and purge your diet of all processed and unhealthy food. Remember to keep your body hydrated as water allows proper functioning of the immune system.
Make you home allergen proof
There’s no point in feeling safe at home if your living space is not allergen proof. If seasonal allergies bother you every year, consider making these changes to your home.
- Keep your indoor air clean. Use AC, dehumidifiers or air purifiers to keep the air clean.
- Vacuum all carpets, sofas, cushions etc. regularly.
- Practice leaving your shoes and overcoats at the door to avoid carrying the allergens into the house.
- Use a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter for your AC and vacuum cleaners. It traps almost 100 percent of the microscopic particles.
- Don’t line dry your clothes during high pollen days as they catch the pollen easily.
Step up your precautions during high pollen count
Always stay informed about high pollen count days in advance. This gives you time to be prepared with all the precautionary measures. Keep your windows and doors closed to keep the allergens from entering your home. Don’t wait for the symptoms to show, start taking your medications during high pollen days. Avoid any outdoor activity. If possible, shift all your outdoor activities like workouts and gatherings indoors. In case you have no choice but to be outside, do not leave your home without a mask. An N95 mask is the best option. It is easily available at stores and filters out about 95 percent of the allergens.
Rinse your nasal passages with saline solutions
One of the many foolproof ways of getting rid of allergens is a sinus flush with saline solution. It is very easy and convenient enough to try at home. First step is to get a squeeze bottle that will help you put the solution into the nasal cavity. Next step is to prepare the saline solution. Use distilled water and pure salt to make an isotonic solution. Pour it into the bottle and into your nostril. Let the solution drain out from the other nostril. Remember to breathe through your mouth during the process.
Saline cleanse helps flush out the allergens from the airways and moistens the mucus membranes which helps reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
Stay away from cigarette smoke
If you are suffering from seasonal allergies, you must not indulge in smoking or be around anyone who smokes. Everyone is well aware of the irritants and harmful components of cigarette smoke. Not only are they harmful for the respiratory system but also for your allergies. Smoke can aggravate your allergy symptoms and cause irritation in your nasal passage and eyes. Your sensitivity to allergens also increases with exposure to cigarette smoke even if it is secondhand.
As a precaution, it is best to keep away from cigarette smoke and follow other precautions too for less severe symptoms.
Do not tolerate allergies
Seasonal allergies should not be taken lightly. Most people believe that exposing themselves to the allergens will help them build a tolerance. This is why not a lot of people visit a doctor or seek medications for allergies. This is not the right way to go. You should definitely see a doctor for your allergies and get treated as soon as possible. There is no need to tolerate them or wait it out.
If you are not sure about your symptoms, go see a doctor. If your symptoms persist for more than three months and are causing hindrance in your daily activities, go see a doctor! And now you also have the best online doctors to assist you with your allergies. So you don’t even have to leave the safety of your home.
Give your seasonal allergies a tough time this year. Follow these tips while you are indoors and outdoors. And remember, do not tolerate your symptoms. Go see a doctor and deal with seasonal allergies in the right way.