Hay Fever Tips

When spring is in the air, sometimes there are also allergens in the air such as pollen and mold that might cause hayfever, also known as allergic rhinitis. You can take over the counter and prescription medications, however, preventive measures help decrease your exposure to allergens.

Minimize your Exposure Outside

Reduce your exposure to pollen in the air by taking these easy steps. Local weather forecast and allergy alerts can alert you to stay indoors on days they alert you to high pollen count. Consider having someone else do outside chores like mowing the lawn and gardening. Wear a mask if you must go outside to do yard work. Close your doors and windows and use an air conditioner during allergy season. According to the University of Maryland most trees produce pollen in the spring; grasses usually produce pollen during the late spring and summer; ragweed and other late-blooming plants produce pollen during late summer and early autumn.

Minimize your Exposure Inside

The Mayo Clinic recommends a high efficiency HEPA air filter in the bedroom. Vacuum once a week with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter to minimize pollen inside. Use an allergy proof mattress and pillow covers and launder bedsheets and linens. Close your doors and windows and use an air conditioner when there is a high pollen count. During warm weather, a dehumidifier can help reduce mold inside the home. Change your air filters in your air conditioners regularly.

Contact your Doctor

If your allergy symptoms last for more than two weeks, contact your doctor or see a specialist. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, there are medications such as antihistamines, nasal decongestant sprays, steroid sprays, saline sprays, and cortisone-type preparations that help with allergy symptoms. Allergy testing, or immunotherapy can help to minimize your symptoms. If you are having a serious reaction call for emergency medical attention or go to the emergency room.

About this Author

Melissa Angela Lopez has a master’s in public health with a specialization in community health education. She is also a registered nurse. She has worked in the health field for more than 15 years and has a special interest in wellness and promotion of women’s health.