The Dos & Don'ts Of Allergies

If you have seasonal allergies, the arrival of spring is probably less about warm sunshine and freshly blooming flowers and more about itchy eyes and congestion. And with millions of people who suffer from Spring allergies every single year, you’re probably wondering what you can do to find some much needed relief?

The truth is different tactics may work better or worse for different people. There is no one best way to treat allergies. However, if you are in search of key ways to ease your allergy agony, start with these simple dos and don’ts.  

Do Spring cleaning. You'll breathe easier if your air is clean. The best way to do that is with a HEPA room air cleaner rated with a Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR). If you have central air, change your air filters every three months and use filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 12. Steer clear of ionic air filters.

And don’t forget to vacuum, too. Make sure to use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA-filtration technology to help remove pollen and other irritants indoors and reduce the chance of breathing them in..

Don’t assume it’s only pollen. Dust and cobwebs can accumulate over the winter. Mold can also build up in bathrooms and the basement, particularly in spring when humidity rises. Furry pets may also start shedding in spring, leaving more dander and hair around the house. Cleaning the house, vacuuming and washing upholstery can help remove allergens from the air and help ensure your nasal passages stay clear.

Do check pollen counts. Monitor pollen and mold counts. This information is often included in weather reports. Overall, a good rule of thumb is to avoid going outside midday and during the afternoon as this is when pollen counts are the highest.

Don’t wait until you have symptoms to treat allergies. Unfortunately, if you wait until allergy symptoms occur to start treating them, you’re inviting misery. Once your allergies are triggered, any treatment is just simply playing catch-up. If you begin taking allergy treatment before symptoms peak, you are able to help your body prevent inflammation from starting, which reduces allergy symptoms.

If you’re already several weeks in to allergy symptoms, remember to take your antihistamines and/or other allergy medication(s) at least 2 hours before spending an extended amount of time outdoors.

Do keep up on personal hygiene. Make sure to shower often and wash your clothes on a regular basis. Pollen can collect in your hair and on your clothes and body. Also, after spending an extended amount of time outdoors, change clothes to help minimize any prolonged exposure to pollen and other allergens.

Don’t take herbal or natural remedies. Be cautious with so-called herbal or natural remedies, some of these may actually be harmful. Instead, try nose gargling, a technique that decreases exposure to the allergen before it binds to the nasal mucus and triggers the inflammatory response.

To perform nasal gargling, buy an irrigation bottle, available at drug stores and online. Fill it with 8 ounces of distilled or boiled water that's been brought to room temperature. Add a half teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda. Halve the recipe for children.
Next, sniff up the water from the tip of the bottle; 4 ounces per nostril for adults, half that for children. Never use unboiled tap water as it may contain higher amounts of bacteria that you wouldn’t want up your nose.

Do work with an expert. While seeking out the latest DIY allergy treatments and recommendations online may seem like your best bet to avoid seasonal suffering, working with an experienced medical provider is the best way to find lasting relief.

The knowledgeable team at GMC’s new Primary Care & Specialty Center in Suwanee will provide the best possible treatment option for your unique allergy symptoms. By utilizing the latest in treatment options, providing access to an extensive network of resources and caring for you in a spa-like environment, you’ll enjoy customized care that’s close to home. 

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