5 Tips for Fighting Seasonal Allergies
Trees are done pollinating by late spring, but many people experience allergies in the fall, too. Each season brings it's own set of allergens, and the reactions that come along with them. Whenever they occur, your immune system may react by releasing the chemical histamine, which can cause unpleasant fall allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose and more.
Here are some seasonal allergy relief tips to help ease these common symptoms:
- See an allergist: Allergists can review your medical history, perform a physical exam and skin tests for allergies, analyze your symptoms, and decide on a treatment plan. So don't hesitate to call when you start showing signs of allergy symptoms. They may recommend medications like antihistamines, which block the chemicals the body releases in response to pollen, or they may recommend allergy immunotherapy or allergy shots, which help decrease sensitivity to specific allergens over time.
- Limit allergen exposure: Stay indoors, especially on dry, windy days when pollen counts are high. Keep windows closed and turn on the air conditioner. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter attachment can help remove pollen from the air and help you breathe easier.
- Rinse your sinuses: Rinsing your sinuses is a way to help ease congestion. Specially-designed squeeze bottles or neti pots and pre-mixed saline solutions are available at pharmacies or health food stores.
- Try over-the-counter allergy medications: Many antihistamines — which can come in liquid, pill and eye drop form — are available without a prescription. They work to block histamine and relieve itchy nose and throat, sneezing, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. Decongestants can help relieve congestion.
- Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) allergy tablets: If you have severe allergies, talk to your doctor about a recently approved treatment for allergic rhinitis, called SLIT.
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