If you take a walk through the Audubon Swamp Garden, you’ll notice the plant life blooming in the springtime. While lovely to look at, if you have hay fever you won’t be looking forward to the sneezing, watery eyes and scratchy throat that come with the start of spring.
Thankfully there are steps you can take to minimize your allergy symptoms and enjoy the beauty of the season.
What is Hay Fever?
Hay fever is a common term for a pollen allergy. Most of the pollen that causes allergic reactions comes from trees, grasses, and weeds. Symptoms of hay fever can include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Itchy nose, eyes, ears, and mouth
- Red and watery eyes
- Swelling around the eyes
- If you have asthma, a pollen allergy may worsen your symptoms
Avoid Spring Allergy Triggers
One of the best ways to prevent allergy symptoms is to avoid your triggers. While it is not always realistic to avoid pollen completely, there are steps you can take to minimize exposure.
- Check your local pollen levels and stay inside with the windows closed on days they are particularly high
- Remove your shoes and clothes that you wore outside and wash them regularly
- Shower to remove pollen from your skin and hair
- Use air conditioning in your home and car if you have it
- Use a dehumidifier and HEPA filter indoors
- Wash your bedding and clean your furniture regularly
Try OTC Allergy Medication
Over-the-counter allergy medication may help relieve your symptoms or, if taken before exposure, prevent them from happening. Options include:
- Nasal sprays
Visit an Allergist for Persistent Symptoms
If you have allergy symptoms that don’t respond to over-the-counter medications or that are negatively impacting your quality of life, make an appointment with an allergist. They can help you manage your allergy symptoms in several ways. They can:
- Perform allergy testing via skin prick and/or blood tests to confirm your triggers and help you know what to avoid.
- Offer prescription-strength allergy medication to help better manage your symptoms.
- See if you are a candidate for immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a method of building tolerance to an allergen by introducing it to the body in small doses over a period of time. It is usually given as injections or allergy shots, but it can sometimes be administered orally in the form of allergy drops.
If you are looking for relief from your springtime allergies, call Charleston ENT & Allergy today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.