If you suffer from the itchy, watery eyes, stuffy nose and constant sneezing that come with seasonal allergies, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25.7% of adults in the United States have seasonal allergies.
The last thing you want to do as an allergy sufferer is to make your symptoms worse. Let’s go over a few common allergy mistakes so you know what to avoid in order to feel your best.
Taking Your Allergy Medications Too Late
Antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays work well to help minimize nasal congestion and other allergy symptoms, but it’s important to take them at the right time. If you wait until after your symptoms have already begun, they might not be as helpful. Try starting your medication a few weeks before the allergy season starts to get the biggest benefit, and keep taking them regularly until allergy season is over and pollen levels have dropped.
Going Outside When Pollen Count Is High
We don’t blame you for wanting to enjoy South Carolina’s natural beauty in places like Stono River County Park. However, limiting your exposure to pollen is one of the best ways to reduce your allergy symptoms. Check the local weather forecast for the pollen levels in Charleston, and if they are high, consider staying inside as much as possible until the levels drop.
Tracking Allergens Indoors
You’re not entirely safe from pollen indoors either if you don’t take the right precautions. When you’re outside, pollen can stick to your clothes, hair and skin, making it easy to track back indoors. Make sure to change your clothes and shower as soon as you get back home. Other steps to take include:
- Keeping your windows closed in your home and car
- Regularly vacuum, dust and wash your sheets
- Use an air conditioner with a HEPA filter
Not Seeking Help For Your Symptoms
Many people can shrug off their allergy symptoms or assume they may just have a cold or another short-term bug. However, untreated seasonal allergies can cause symptoms that last several weeks to even months. Even if they aren’t serious, they can interfere with work and sleep and impact your quality of life.
Visiting an allergist can help narrow down your specific allergens via allergy testing. This can help you determine what your best treatments are, including using prescription medications if over-the-counter options aren’t doing enough to help your symptoms.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, call Charleston ENT & Allergy today.