Springtime means longer days, warmer weather, and flowers blooming. And if you’re one of the over 50 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies each year, it also means runny noses, watery eyes, and headaches.
Spring allergies, also called hay fever and allergic rhinitis, can consume your whole mood and make you miserable—forcing you to stay inside when you’d much rather be enjoying the first warm days of the year.
Unfortunately, if you’re someone who sneezes every time you smell a flower or can’t look at a garden without your eyes watering, your allergies may not be completely curable. Still, the symptoms can be minimized and managed with the right preparation and management.
Brickmont Assisted Living has senior living communities throughout the Atlanta area, and we strive to be a resource to older adults and families when it comes to senior health issues. Since spring starts early here in Georgia, we’re looking at some simple yet effective ways to manage your seasonal allergies all season long.
1. Know Your Triggers
The most common trigger for seasonal allergies is pollen from wind-pollinated plants like trees, grasses, and weeds. In people with hay fever, the body will mistakenly interpret these pollens as dangerous to the body and release histamines. This chemical triggers the all too familiar symptoms of an itchy nose, scratchy throat, and watery eyes.
In the southeast, including Atlanta, the pollen comes primarily from Oak and Birch trees, grass, and Ragweed. To prepare yourself for the upcoming spring season, use a resource like a local pollen counter to show you the pollens levels each day.
2. Avoid Peak Pollen Hours
To reduce your exposure to allergy triggers, it’s best to stay indoors when pollen counts are high. Typically, pollen counts rise continuously throughout the day, peaking around midday and then gradually falling, so the times with the lowest count are early morning and early evening.
Other weather patterns can affect the pollen count, as well. Pollen tends to be exceptionally high on windy days when the breeze carries it throughout the air, and especially low just after a good rain has washed away all the allergens.
3. Filter Your Air
As great as the first days of warm air can feel after being cooped inside all winter, opening the windows of your house or car will let in all the pollens and allergens. For an exceptionally warm day, use the air conditioning in your home and car to keep the air clean and filtered.
You can also use a dehumidifier and HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter to keep the air in your home dry and free of microscopic particles that could trigger allergy symptoms.
4. Take Medication
Sometimes, you can take all the precautions and still end up with those bothersome allergy symptoms. In these cases, it can be helpful to look into medications. Several over-the-counter medicines can ease allergy symptoms and don’t require a prescription, including antihistamines (a counter to the previously mentioned histamines), decongestants, and nasal sprays.
Depending on the type and severity of your symptoms, these medications can significantly clear your airways and reduce symptoms. It is always recommended you speak with your doctor before starting any new medication.
5. Don’t Miss The Weather Because You’re Under The Weather
If you live with allergies, you know how debilitating and miserable they can be and how they can tempt you to stay inside until summer. But don’t let uncomfortable symptoms keep you from enjoying the warmth and celebration that comes with spring. By taking medication, going outside when the pollen count is low, and taking other proactive steps, you can fight against the symptoms of seasonal allergies and enjoy the spring.
Once you’ve got your allergies under control, try these festive spring activities!
- Plant a Garden
- Walk Around a Local Park
- Take a Scenic Drive to Enjoy Blooming Trees and Flowers
- Make a Homemade Bird Feeder
- Decorate Your Home for Spring or Easter
Healthy Living at Brickmont Assisted Living
This spring, we want you to enjoy warm weather and sunny days without worrying about seasonal allergies. We hope you have a wonderful spring season by following these simple tips!
Brickmont Assisted Living has assisted living and memory care communities throughout the Atlanta area, including John’s Creek, Acworth, Milton, and Woodstock. If you found this article helpful, we encourage you to share it with a friend! For more on senior living, visit our Brickmont blog.