Spring is coming to an end. For some people, that means some much-needed relief from their allergies. For others, relief may still seem a long way off, especially if their allergy symptoms persist year-round or become more severe during the summer.
If you suffer from allergic rhinitis, hay fever, or allergies that tend to flare in the summer, you may feel apprehensive about the months to come. You should consider your situation from a preventative standpoint. The longer it takes you to gain control over your summer allergies, the more difficult it can become to treat them.
No one wants to spend their time dealing with a stuffy or runny nose, itchy, red, or watery eyes, headaches, sore throat, and other typically more common symptoms. Consider the following summer allergy prevention tactics from C/V ENT Surgical Group to help you gain better control over your symptoms to reduce the frequency and severity of allergy flare-ups.
Avoid Allergy Triggers
Logically, it may seem as if the best and easiest way to end summer allergies is to avoid allergens or substances that trigger your immune system to react. But that’s not a practical solution for most people, especially if they spend time outdoors or interacting with others.
While it’s impossible to avoid these allergens, you can limit your exposure to them by spending more time indoors, away from pollution and other offensive airborne irritants. Keep in mind that not all summertime allergies are triggered by pollen. Some people prone to summer allergy symptoms are sensitive to certain foods, chemicals, materials, mold, bacteria, mildew, insects, household products, and pets.
Be Mindful of the Weather
Don’t hang outdoors on hot and sunny days when pollen counts are highest. Pay attention to the weather to avoid allergy symptoms. Pollen counts tend to be lowest after the rain. Early morning and windy days can make your symptoms more difficult to manage.
If you must venture out when pollen counts are high, take your allergy medication first. Taking your allergy meds before your summer allergies start can help make them more manageable or, in some cases, keep them from flaring up.
Clean and Dust Regularly
Whether you plan to spend more time indoors, it helps rid your home and office of offending substances. Clean your floors regularly to eliminate excess dust, dirt, and dander from floating in the air. Instead of sweeping, it stirs up dust and dander and could trigger your summer allergies. Consider cleaning high traffic areas.
Wear a mask if you must sweep and when dusting your home to limit your exposure to irritants. Launder all bedding and upholstery weekly and consider having your furniture professionally steamed cleaned.
Maintain Proper Humidity Levels Indoors
Air that is too moist or dry can make it difficult for you to breathe and increase the frequency and seriousness of allergy symptoms. It is essential to maintain suitable humidity levels in the air you breathe. When humidity levels are too low, the air you breathe dries out your nasal passages, increasing their vulnerability to viruses, bacteria, dust, mold, and other airborne allergens.
Dry air also increases your risk of developing non-allergic rhinitis, a condition that causes allergy-like symptoms, such as coughing, sneezing, and nasal dryness and congestion.
When humidity levels are too high, they create a suitable habitat for mold, dust, bacteria, mildew, and other allergens to multiply and thrive. According to the American Lung Association, you should keep the humidity indoors below 50 percent to keep bacteria, dust mites, and other common irritants at bay. Use an air conditioner on hot or humid days to keep moisture levels where they should be and keep airborne allergens low.
Improve Indoor Ventilation
Optimizing your property’s ventilation can be extremely helpful in creating the right humidity balance indoors. Use an air purification system to remove excess dander, pollen dust, and other harmful substances from the air. Don’t forget to change the filters regularly to prevent mold, mildew, and germs.
Incorporate allergy-friendly plants into your décor to help purify the air and boost your mood, making it easier for you to avoid and overcome summer allergy symptoms. Periodic professional duct cleanings are beneficial as well.
Use Remedies and Store-Bought Therapeutics
Many people find they can minimize their discomfort with over-the-counter decongestants, antihistamines, nasal irrigation, and other allergy medications or remedies. There’s nothing wrong with using these therapeutics, but they tend to become less effective with long-term use. For more permanent relief of summer allergies, you should see an allergy or ENT specialist for a formal diagnosis and suitable treatment options tailored to your needs and health.
Protect Your Health
Monitor your health, maintain a good diet, and drink lots of fluids to avoid dehydration that can make summer allergies more troublesome to live with. Avoid spending too much time in the sun, and get enough rest so your body can heal and recover to strengthen your immunity against allergens and infections.
Even in the summer, colds and sinus infections are common. Moreover, individuals with allergies tend to experience more frequent flare-ups and additional health concerns. Do not delay seeing a doctor for sudden or unusual symptoms that make it difficult for you to breathe, eat, sleep, or even think, such as nasal congestions, sinus headaches, throat soreness, etc.
Sometimes, even with the best efforts and mitigation strategies, summertime allergies can strike without warning and make you feel miserable and uncomfortable until they subside.
Come to C/V ENT for Summertime Allergy Relief
If you experience summer allergy symptoms that linger longer than usual or two weeks or seem more serious than normal, don’t hesitate to call C/V ENT Surgical Group at 818-431-2769 to set up an appointment with our allergy management specialist.