Spring is here, bringing with it lots of flowers and blooming trees. These are amongst the biggest triggers of seasonal allergies, also referred to as hay fever or allergic rhinitis. The most common symptoms include sneezing, congestion and runny nose. Here are some tried-and-true strategies to help manage seasonal allergies:
  • Avoid or reduce your exposure to known allergy triggers. Spend more time indoors on dry, windy days. Protect yourself by wearing a mask when mowing the lawn, weed pulling and other gardening chores. Remove and wash clothes and take a bath if you have been outdoors to rid your hair and skin of pollen.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast, especially noting the allergen/pollen predictions and take extra precautions when pollen counts are high. Consider taking allergy medication proactively before exposure to outdoor allergens. Avoid activity earlier in the day when pollen counts are at their highest.
  • Keep indoor air clean by using air conditioning in your car and home. Use high-efficiency filters if your home uses forced air for heating/cooling. Look into a portable high-efficiency air purifier for your bedroom.
  • Consider using over-the-counter allergy medication: Commonly available in the form of oral antihistamines (such as cetirizine, loratadine, diphenhydramine), nasal sprays such as fluticasone (Flonase). Oral decongestants such as those containing pseudoephedrine (alone or in combination with other medications) can also be effective in relieving nasal/sinus congestion.
Pharmacists can assess and, if appropriate, prescribe medications for allergy relief. Consider speaking to your pharmacist to see how they can help you manage your seasonal allergies and help you enjoy Spring 2024. By Vishal Mehta, Pharmacist