How Can You Control Allergic Rhinitis?
Seasonal allergy is not a rare condition, it affects millions of people all over the world. Some people experience the irritating allergy symptoms for several months at a time. While early spring is mostly associated with tree pollen, such as cedar, birch, oak, elm, and others. Grass pollen triggers allergies in mid- and late summer. During the fall month, ragweed and other weeds release pollen affecting your quality of life.
In terms of durability of the symptoms, there are two types of allergies – seasonal and perennial. Seasonal allergies mostly include allergic rhinitis (hay fever) caused by pollen and airborne mold spores. Perennial allergies cause the symptoms of allergic rhinitis year-round. Common triggers of perennial allergies include dust mites, pet dander, mold, or mildew.
Unfortunately, the only way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid the trigger. You can do so by washing your hands regularly, removing pollen from your hair and clothes, checking pollen counts in the air, as well as maintaining your eyes clear and moisturized with a help of eye drops.
However, sometimes, even things that seem insignificant can become a trigger for allergic reactions. It can be anything from swimming in the pool to drinking a glass of wine with dinner.
Existing symptoms can be reduced with various allergy meds, such as antihistamines. The symptoms of seasonal allergies are easier to control using medications due to the fact that they are short-term. When it comes to perennial allergies with year-round exposure to the triggers, it may be more difficult to control the symptoms.
If you notice the signs of allergic rhinitis, you should visit your doctor. Working together with a professional will help to find the best solution to the problem.
Below, you will find a number of tips that can help to deal with allergic rhinitis more efficiently.
#1: Take a shower after being outdoors.
Spending a lot of time outside, walking around or working out in the garden/yard, can worsen the symptoms in people with pollen allergies. Whenever you are outdoors on a day with the high pollen count, your skin, hair and clothes get quickly contaminated with allergens. In this case, experts recommend taking a shower after coming home after being outside to remove the pollen and other irritants. This should help to minimize your symptoms.
#2: Take your shoes off after coming into the house.
A lot of pollen can also accumulate on your shoes when you are exercising or working outdoors. To prevent the allergens from spreading around your house, make sure to take off or change your shoes whenever you come into the clean house. Changing your clothes after being outside can also help to minimize exposure to pollen and reduce the risk of ongoing symptoms.
#3: Keep your windows closed during the spring months.
The idea of opening the windows on a warm, breezy spring day may seem very attractive. However, if you have a pollen allergy, open windows are the easiest way for pollen to get into your house and trigger your symptoms. Instead, experts recommend that you keep your windows closed and use an air conditioning system. This will help to keep your allergy under control.
#4: Avoid alcoholic beverages when seasonal allergies hit.
Alcohol can increase the blood flow to the lining of the nose, which tends to worsen nasal allergy symptoms. During allergy season, you may want to avoid drinking wine or beer in order to have a better control of your symptoms. In case of perennial allergies, alcohol can also have a negative effect on the symptoms.
#5: Make sure to avoid strong perfumes and chlorine.
Certain perfumes and other strong odors such as chlorine in a swimming pool may cause irritation in the nasal airways and lungs, which can lead to symptoms like coughing or wheezing. Besides, people with allergies may develop a skin reaction called contact dermatitis to fragrances and dyes used in cosmetics and cleaning products. Contact dermatitis is associated with symptoms like an itchy rash.
#6: Take the correct number of doses of an allergy medications(s) for your allergies.
Certain allergy medications can last 24 hours, which means you don’t need to take them before going to sleep. For instance, these meds include cetirizine (Zyrtec) and fexofenadine (Allegra).
On the other hand, the effect of antihistamines lasts for 6-8 hours approximately. Therefore, skipping the dose at night may cause you to have more symptoms when you wake up. Always make sure to check the instructions provided with the medications to take the correct number of doses for allergies.
#7: Minimize the use of humidifier.
Using a humidifier, especially in the bedroom, can cause complications in people with dust mite allergies. This is because humidity contributes to the growth of dust mites.
According to specialists, dry air is much better for those with dust mite allergy. Therefore, you may be better off without a humidifier.
#8: Avoid allergenic foods to prevent cross-reactivity.
If you have a pollen allergy, antibodies in your system can react to certain foods, too. This condition is known as cross-reactivity.
Thus, having a ragweed allergy can lead to cross-reaction to bananas, melons, zucchini, or cucumber. Birch tree pollen is related to fruits like apples, peaches, pears, kiwi, carrots, celery, and hazelnuts. This means that you may cross-react to these fruits, if you have a birch tree pollen allergy.
The Bottom Line
Avoiding allergy triggers as much as possible is the best way to treat seasonal or year-round allergies. Make sure to be familiar with the triggers and allergy signs to keep your condition under control.