If you sneeze so much that you’re considering buying stock in Kleenex, you may suffer from seasonal allergies. Also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, it occurs when your immune system overreacts to a substance that is usually not harmful. As a result, your immune system releases a chemical called histamine, which triggers your allergy symptoms.
Having allergies doesn’t mean you have to suffer. One of the most helpful things you can do is avoid allergens that make your symptoms flare. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Stay inside when mold and pollen counts are high.
- Keep your windows closed in your car and home. Use air conditioning instead.
- Regularly wash your bedding in hot water to get rid of dust mites.
- Remove wall-to-wall carpeting and use throw rugs you can wash instead.
- Fix household leaks to prevent mold.
Relief from Symptoms
If you can’t completely avoid allergens, there are over-the-counter and prescription medicines, as well as treatments, that can reduce your symptoms. Talk with your doctor about which medicines might work best for you. Some examples include:
- Antihistamines to block the action of histamine to reduce your symptoms
- Decongestants to reduce stuffiness and pressure due to swelling in your nasal cavity
- Saline nasal sprays to help with nasal dryness
Finally, your doctor may suggest a treatment called immunotherapy. With immunotherapy, you’re exposed to very small amounts of the substances you’re allergic to, either through a shot or in a tablet placed under your tongue. With time, you become less sensitive to the allergen and your symptoms improve.
9 Tips for Exercising Outdoors When You Have Allergies
Just because it’s allergy season doesn’t mean you have to move your workout indoors. With a few smart tweaks, you can stay active outside and keep your allergy symptoms under control. For starters, be sure to consult with your allergist. Your doctor may perform an allergy test to find out what triggers your symptoms. That way, you can find the treatments that work best for you.
In addition, knowing which allergens make your symptoms worse means you can do your best to steer clear of them. Here are nine more things you can do to sweat safely outdoors:
- Always take your medication as prescribed to help reduce symptoms.
- Breathe through your nose—your nasal passages help filter out allergens.
- Carry epinephrine with you at all times if you’re allergic to insect stings.
- Check the pollen counts before you exercise. They tend to be highest in the mornings and rise again in the afternoon, so a midday workout may be your best bet.
- Wear sunglasses and a hat to prevent pollen from getting into your eyes and hair.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a scarf when exercising in cold, dry air.
- Avoid exercising by areas that may have higher concentrations of allergens, such as fields, busy roads, or woods,
- Change your clothes as soon as you get inside to avoid bringing allergens into your home.
- Wash your hair after your workout to remove pollen and any other allergens that may have hitched a ride.
This post was brought to you by Nuvance Health.