SPRING IS in the air! Pollen is, too! A harsh fact of life for those of us allergy-sufferers.
Spring is the time our noses are a shade too red to be fashionably pink. Tissues are our fave fashion accessory; sneezing, our ambient sound. Our eyes are as glazed-over as the plants are with morning dew. Trees are in bloom, and our nasal cavities are, too. The former being a decidedly prettier picture than the latter. The grass is green, and let’s not even mention what else is. But it has to do with the blooming nasal cavities. Eww.
Short of wearing a gas mask or sticking your head in a bag, here are some tips to minimize your exposure to pollen:
- Keep allergy meds handy. Especially Fill out those prescriptions, and take as directed by the manufacturer, or—better still—your doctor. Follow precautionary measures, as well. Especially if you have the sudden urge to operate heavy machinery.
- Consider using a Netty Pot or any other form of nose rinsing device, and flush nasal cavities out with a saline solution. Very effective, and provides great relief from stuffed passages.
- Keep track of the pollen count and try to stay indoors with windows shut on days when it is exceptionally high. Pollen counts are highest on warm, dry, breezy days. Keep in mind that the most ideal time for outdoor activity is while plants are still dewy (early morning). Evening, humid days (before or after the rains), or days when winds are at bay are also good, as pollen is at also at bay. If a trip outside during high pollen counts is necessary, refer to Tip #1.
- Bring a hanky to cover your nose area when outdoors. Keep eyes protected by wearing sunglasses. Itchy, puffy, watery eyes are a nasty result of pollen allergies.
- When on the road, keep car windows shut. Use the AC.
- Stay hydrated. Fluids help to ward away the sneezes and battle congestion.
- Be wary of letting your pets on the bed, as pollen can stick to their fur.
- Take the time for general spring cleaning. Get rid of accumulated dust. Keep your house clean.
- Vacuum regularly; launder sheets once a week.
- Wear a mask when cleaning, or working in the yard. Not the Halloween kind, but the filter or gauze kind; disposable or otherwise (but be sure to clean the non-disposable ones after each use). Avoid mowing, or raking, as these can release and stir up pollen on the ground.
- Change clothing after exposure outdoors.
- Shower/shampoo at the end of each day to get rid of pollen that may have stuck to your skin and hair.
- Stay away from pollution, cigarette and cigar smoke, as these can exacerbate the allergy symptoms.
- Move to the Arctic regions. If that is off the list, know your pollen season, and perhaps plan a vacation around that time. The beach and places by the sea often have fewer problems with pollen.
- Know your plants. If you have a yard or garden, avoid plants with smaller pollen, as these are easily carried in the wind. A little research will go a long way towards staving off allergies.