For many, the start of spring brings with it the onset of seasonal allergies. Eliminating or decreasing allergens is the best way to avoid symptoms—but that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside. Here are some simple tips that can help you avoid symptoms:
- Keep windows in your home and car closed as much as possible to prevent pollen from drifting in.
- Spend time outdoors when pollen levels are lowest: peak pollination occurs for a few hours after sunrise and sunset.
- Enjoy the outdoors on rainy, cloudy, and windless days.
- If gardening, avoid touching your face and especially eyes.
- Shower after spending time outdoors.
- Use air conditioning to filter pollen from the air in your home.
- Avoid activities that cause pollen to reenter the air such as lawn mowing or leaf blowing.
- Wear a hat with a wide brim and sunglasses to reduce the amount of pollen that blows into your eyes.
- Apply and rinse your eyes with saline eye drops after being outdoors to wash away pollen.
- Use a saline sinus rinse to help remove pollen from the nasal and sinus passages.
- Consult your provider to determine which medications may be right for you. Over-the-counter antihistamines are often effective at relieving mild to moderate symptoms.
Note: If you have a known pollen allergy, it’s a good idea to begin a preventive medication regimen early. Symptoms can often be more easily controlled if medications are started prior to the pollen season.