3 tips for dealing seasonal allergies
Summertime can bring sunny days, blooming flowers, and—for many of us—seasonal allergies.
Also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, these spring and summer allergies can cause various symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, itchy throat, congestion, fatigue, headache, and skin rashes.
To put it simply, they can be miserable. Thankfully, Christina Kopp, ARNP, advanced nurse practitioner for UI Urgent Care, shares some easy tips to help ease the challenges of seasonal allergies.
1. Avoid triggers
Avoiding triggers is one way to help combat seasonal allergies.
For example, if pollen is your trigger, try some of the follow tips:
Use the air conditioner in your house and car
Avoid opening windows to reduce your exposure to allergens, such as pollen
Change air filters and use an air purifier to help reduce the number of pollens circulating in the air
Vacuuming floors and changing bedding can help decrease exposure to pollen
Showering after being outside can rinse pollen off your skin, cleansing you of your trigger
2. Over-the-counter medications
“We want to help people not only manage their symptoms but find comfort so that they can enjoy outdoor activities,” Kopp says.
She says over-the-counter medications like antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, and saline nasal sprays can help to alleviate symptoms.
Antihistamines work by blocking the effects of histamine, a chemical released by the body during an allergic reaction. Nasal corticosteroids reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, while saline nasal sprays rinse away allergens.
3. Walk-in appointment at UI Urgent Care or UI QuickCare clinics
If your allergies are severe and you are not responding to other treatments, you may want to talk to a provider. They may refer you to a specialist for further testing for severe allergy symptoms.
“Finding what works best for you may take some trial and error, but you can relieve your symptoms with some simple steps,” Kopp says.