It’s That Time Of Year: Allergy Season Is Back

Jim LukachWhen I was a kid, I was lucky. I never had allergies. I wasn’t allergic to my pets, mold, pollen, weeds, or anything. Life was good.

Then, as I got older, I started discovering my allergies, or maybe they just decided to wait until later to show their ugly faces.

  • Penicillin, check. (Makes being sick even more of a challenge for the doctor to find something to prescribe.)
  • Tree pollen, yup. Which makes these spring blooms especially brutal.
  • Weeds, definitely. I used to visit a hay farm during the summer – red, watery eyes and sneezing the entire time.
  • Cats. Really? I’ve had cats and been around other people’s cats my whole life and I didn’t know I had an allergy until I worked for a few months at the humane society. One, two, even three is probably okay for me to be around, but anymore than that, especially in confined spaces, may stir up some of that nose-itching.

How to cope?

NEVER GO OUTSIDE! Just kidding. But seriously, if you’re going to be outside, be prepared.

  1. Take your allergy medicine at least 30 minutes to an hour before you’re going to be outside for any extended period of time. This includes driving! The air that comes into your car, even if the windows are up, can be a trigger. If your allergies make you as miserable as they’re making me this year, which is the worst I’ve ever had, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  2. If you are going to be outside, make sure you remember to take your allergy medicine at the correct intervals, usually four to six hours. If yours are really bothering you, better to make it every four hours. Whatever you do, make sure you follow the directions on the box – don’t exceed X amount of doses in 24 hours, don’t take X amount of doses at one time, etc.
  3. Also, if you do spend a long time outside, make sure your clothes go in the laundry and you hop in the shower. The pollen and allergens from outside are not only heading to your nose and lungs – they’re clinging to your skin and clothes, too. This means washing your hair. I’m not advocating washing your hair constantly during allergy season. It’s not super-healthy for your hair to be washed every day or worse, twice a day, because it dries it out and removes a lot of the natural oils it produces. Unfortunately, that’s a choice you have to make – suffer allergies from pollen and other things going from your hair to your clothes and your pillow, or dry out your hair for a couple weeks while the allergens are peaking and minimize the allergens you bring home with you.

Over the Counter vs. Natural Remedies

As far as medications go, everyone is different. I used to take Benadryl, but this year, my allergy symptoms are hardly responding to it, so I’m in the fun process of finding a new medication to handle my allergies. So far, the Sudafed is an improvement, but I could feel better. I’ve tried Zyrtec before, and all it did was make my head fuzzy. The right allergy medicine makes all the difference – the difference between stuffing Kleenex up my nose so I don’t have to feel it running all the time, and breathing normally without being afraid of going outside to enjoy the awesome weather we’ve had lately. The Allegra finally worked for me, and while they are horse pills, the 24-hour kind are great because I don’t have to remember to take them four times a day.

Natural remedies are an option, too. If you have the money to spend on neti pots, supplements, and organic locally produced honey, those are excellent options to try. I can’t speak to their advantages personally, but I know some people swear by them.

Allergies aren’t fun. It’s like having a cold, but not being sick enough to call in sick. However, you don’t have to suffer through them. There are things you can do to prevent or minimize your body’s reaction to allergies. I just hope your allergies are nowhere near as bad as mine were this season. I wouldn’t wish my experience on anyone!

Photo by: Jim Lukach

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The information on this website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition. Please consult your doctor before attempting any of the exercises, remedies, or health tips on this website to make sure you are healthy enough to do so.
About Jessica

I'm a writer, blogger, and just your average gal trying to live a healthy, happy life. I'm no expert, but my knowledge comes firsthand from my own dieting, exercise, and overall wellness experiences. Tweet me @cultivate happy!

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