As the trees and flowers blossom and the landscape grows green, out from its wintertime shell, seasonal allergy sufferers begin the month or two stint of itchy, watery eyes, itchy throat, runny nose, fatigue, blue-colored skin beneath the eyes (in appearance it has a close resemblance to tired eyes), and sneezing. Some allergy sufferers can have a low-grade fever set in. Seasonal allergy sufferers can experience symptoms like those associated with the common cold. And these symptoms make it difficult to enjoy the outdoors at a time of year when enjoying the outdoors is paramount.
There are many causes, and without testing it can be impossible to know to which allergen your body has a reaction. Common allergens include: tree and grass pollen (both of which are more common in the spring and early summer) and ragweed pollen (common in the fall). Oftentimes, people become so used to their seasonal allergies that they don’t seek out treatment. And there are many different at-home treatments for symptoms that are less severe. For instance, saline works well to clean out the sinus cavities—either used in a squeeze bottle, or for the more severe cases a neti pot (neti pots can be used incorrectly and can cause infections in the sinus cavities, so know how to use one before you do). Frequently wash your bedding, clothing, and keep your house clean—carpets hold in the allergens and it’s important to keep them regularly vacuumed (a HEPA-filter-style vacuum works well for removing allergens from carpet, furniture, and upholstery).
Remember also to stay indoors during times when allergens like pollen are at their peak. Don’t run those ten-mile marathon training runs during high pollen times. If your pets spend considerable time outside, make sure to keep them clean as well, or else they can track allergens like pollen throughout your home. You can check the pollen warnings, and the highest pollen-count times of day, on most weather websites and the local paper. If you need immediate relief there are several over-the-counter medications that work well to combat seasonal allergies. If you have any question as to which medications would work best for you, consult with your doctor ahead of taking anything.