Senior Care - How to Provide Elderly Independence

Reduce Your Symptoms During This Allergy Season

by Stephen Silva

If your typical way of getting ready for allergy season is to buy a case of tissues and a large box of antihistamines, consider there are a few other options to reduce your allergy symptoms. Put your effort into preventing the symptoms to begin with, rather than fighting sneezing and a runny nose after the fact. From simple to complicated, here are some ways to keep the symptoms from happening, or from being as severe when they do start.

Non-Invasive Measures

Start simply by limiting your access to allergens. During certain seasons, you may be surrounded by mold and pollen, so reduce your exposure with some of these techniques:

Don't drag in pollen from outside - When you enter the house, leave your shoes at the door and have a coat hook handy on which to hang your coat and hat. If coming in with the dog, wipe off their fur before they enter the house. This will keep pollen outside, or just inside of the door, instead of trailing it through the house.

Wash your hair at night - Your hair picks up pollen all day and will stay with you on your pillow at night when you sleep. Wash your hair before bed to reduce your symptoms at night.

Use microfiber furnace filters - These filters remove more allergens as your furnace or air conditioner circulates air through your house.

Reduce the humidity in the house - Humidity encourages the growth of certain allergens. A home dehumidifier will reduce the ability for them to grow in your house.

Hire out the yard work - Have a service mow your yard and pull weeds. These two activities stir up many allergens that you'll suffer with for hours after the job is done. If you must work in the yard, wear a face mask to limit the amount of allergens you breathe in.

Use the clothes dryer - Some people like to hang clothes or linen outside for that "fresh air" smell. They may smell nice, but you'll bring them in covered with pollen.

Invasive Techniques

Controlling your allergies by limiting your exposure to allergens and using prescription antihistamines are the preferred ways to get through the season. If your symptoms are severe enough that they affect your work and home life, there are two surgical interventions that may help.

Sinus surgery - Your sinuses become inflamed during many allergic responses. The tissues fill with fluid which then drain down your throat. If the small passages between your sinuses and throat become blocked, your sinuses can't drain and you can develop a sinus infection. Sinus surgery unblocks those passages or enlarges them to reduce the risk of painful infection.

Functional rhinoplasty - This surgery is done on the structures inside of your nose to enlarge your airway. The tissues in your nose become inflamed during an allergic reaction and can block your airway, making breathing difficult. This surgery can improve your breathing in spite of your allergic reaction.

Being prepared for allergy season with more than a box of tissues reduces the impact of symptoms on your daily activities. Don't let the season disrupt your life and keep you home coughing and sneezing.