Spring is in the air — and it’s making you sniffle, sneeze, and snort. That’s because all of the blooming flowers and foliage create loads of pollen. It floats through the air and into your nose, wreaking havoc with your nasal passages and upper respiratory system.
But pollen isn’t the only culprit. Mold, dust, pet dander, and biting insects also amp up when spring hits, so it’s critical to identify which allergens trigger your symptoms.
Dr. James Lee and our team at Woodstock Family Practice & Urgent Care in Woodstock, Georgia, can use a skin test to help you narrow down the allergens that set off your sneezes.
We inject a diluted solution containing your probable allergen and monitor your skin for a reaction. And that kicks off our list of pro tips for nipping springtime allergies in the bud.
Know your triggers
Many people are allergic to pollen, but that doesn’t mean you are. You can narrow down the possibilities by keeping an allergy journal and recording your reactions to substances, bites, stings, medications, and foods.
Check the pollen count daily
If pollen is on your list of personal allergens, do yourself a favor and check the pollen count every morning. Websites like Pollen.com and Weather.com let you see what to expect in Woodstock or wherever you work or travel. If the levels are high, stay indoors.
Keep your windows rolled up
It’s tempting to roll your windows down and let the fresh air whip through your car, but that exacerbates your symptoms. Everything in the air that causes you to sneeze and wheeze comes at you at full speed, so your immune system gets overwhelmed.
Take spring cleaning seriously
Spring is the traditional time to declutter and freshen your house, but when you suffer from seasonal allergies, the task becomes part of your treatment.
- Vacuum often
- Take off your shoes when you enter your house
- Remove and wash any clothes you’ve worn outside
- Wash your bedding at least once a week
Although these tips may sound tedious, they can save you from watery eyes, a runny nose, itching, and sneeze attacks.
Prepare your pets
Pet dander is a common allergen, but your furry friends can also carry pollen on their coats. To minimize their potential to set off your symptoms, wipe them down with a damp towel when they come in from outdoors, and keep them well groomed.
Wash your hair
Like your pets, your hair can harbor pollen and pollutants from the outdoor air. Establishing the habit of nighttime shampooing can keep you breathing freely all night and reduce the number of allergens transferred from your hair to your pillowcase and sheets.
Use a nasal rinse
It’s nearly impossible to avoid breathing in pollen and other allergens despite your efforts to minimize them. Use a saline nasal rinse or neti pot to remove the allergens that make it past your defenses and into your nasal passage. Dr. Lee can recommend styles and brands that suit your needs.
Ask about immunotherapy
Dr. Lee offers immunotherapy, a highly effective treatment for allergies. He injects you with a diluted solution of your known allergens and increases the doses gradually. Eventually, your body learns to tolerate the allergen rather than fighting it.
To schedule an allergy test or talk to Dr. Lee about immunotherapy, contact us by phone or online, and face this spring without sneezing.