How To Survive Your Seasonal Allergies | More intelligent
✨Pollenproof your environment.
Vacuum and dust regularly to pick up allergens such as pollen particles, dust mites and pet dander. If your pets spend time outdoors, keep them out of your bed – and if possible, out of this room entirely – as their fur may carry pollen.
Try to take off the shoes you’ve worn outside once you’ve come inside to avoid letting pollen in, says Dickerson. You should also change the clothes you wore outside.
Take a shower at bedtime so you can wash away the pollen that has accumulated on your hair and skin. This way you won’t literally be sleeping with the enemy, your allergens, all night. Washing and changing your pillowcases more often can also help keep pollen out of your bed, says Friedman, who has reported allergies and closely tracked seasonal allergy studies for the past decade.
Keep your windows closed to reduce exposure to pollen, says Thanai Pongdee, MD, allergist and immunologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. It’s simple but effective, and it immediately helped my allergies.
Run an air purifier could also be useful, says Friedman. Here are some of the best air purifiers of 2022, according to CR’s tests, which measure a model’s ability to remove particles from the air and its noise level: The Alen BreatheSmart 75i Pure, $750 at Amazon and Best Buy, scored highest in our ratings, but we also recommend the Blueair Classic 605, $489 at Amazon, and the reasonably priced Blueair Blue Pure 211+, $300 at Amazon and Sylvane), among others (CR members have free access to the notes).
😷Reduce your exposure to allergens when you go out.
You can monitor pollen levels in your area and generally try to stay indoors between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. because that’s when pollen levels tend to peak. Dry and windy days could also further trigger your allergies.
If you need to be outdoors during heavy pollution days, wear sunglasses and a mask will help reduce the amount of pollen that gets into your eyes, nose, mouth and airways, says Melanie Carver, Chief of Mission for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).
Research suggests that wearing a mask can reduce the severity of allergy symptoms. N95 and medical-grade masks are the most effective, but even cloth masks are probably better than nothing because they will at least serve as a barrier to airborne allergens, says Tania Elliott, MD, spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
💊Take your allergy medications at the right time.
It’s much easier to prevent an allergic reaction than to treat it once it’s started, Elliott says. One thing you can do is take allergy medications a few weeks before pollen season starts, and during pollen season, be sure to take your allergy medications regularly, Carver says.
If you have mild allergy symptoms, you can try a over-the-counter oral antihistamine, such as cetirizine (Zyrtec and generic), fexofenadine (Allegra and generic) or loratadine (Claritin and generic).
And if your symptoms persist even when you’re indoors, a prescription steroid nasal spray or an OTC option like Flonase or Nasacort can help, although it usually takes a few weeks to reach maximum effectiveness.
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