Ah, Spring. It’s the favorite time of year for many people. The days are getting longer, flowers are blooming, everything’s starting to get green and the warm sun brings people out of the homes for a breath of the fresh air. But for some, that air carries things that make them miserable – pollen and other irritants – that cause terrible spring allergy symptoms.
Seniors must be especially careful when trying to deal with spring allergies. Here are a few ways to help you minimize the exposure, and ways to cope when they start to be problematic.
Monitor pollen levels. There are many resources for checking the pollen count in your area in spring. Many local news outlets report on pollen levels during their normal weather segments in the spring. You can also go online to places like www.weather.com to check based on zip code or city, or there are apps for your phone like Pollen.com’s Allergy Alert app. Try to avoid any unnecessary trips outside on days when pollen counts are high.
Keep doors and windows closed. Even though it’s tempting to open the windows to let the warm spring air in, on high pollen level days, pollen will permeate window screens and settle inside your home on surfaces. So keep those windows closed and run the air conditioning if needed. Also, make sure anyone who enters your home take off their shoes to avoid bringing in more contaminants from the outside.
Use a dryer, not a clothes line. If you’re someone who loves hanging laundry outside to dry in the fresh air, spring is not an ideal time for that if you suffer from allergy symptoms. Pollen and other irritants float through the air and attach to your laundry. When you bring the laundry inside, you’re bringing all that pollen in, and wearing it, sleeping on it, and spreading it all over your home. Use a dryer for your laundry in the spring.
Deal with Symptoms
Consult with your physician. If you suspect you’re suffering from spring allergies, first check with your physician to rule out any other causes for your symptoms. You also want to find out the best over the counter medications to use that won’t interact with your prescription medications.
Be careful with antihistamines. Like we mentioned, many over the counter medications for allergy treatment have ingredients that could have adverse effects with your current prescriptions. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any over the counter medications.