How to Avoid Allergies This Season
Myron Zitt, M.D.
Every year around this time, I see people who rely way too much on antihistamines and nasal sprays to self-treat their allergies. While over-the-counter drugs are effective at relieving some symptoms, they can't treat all of them.
I always recommend that people who suffer from itching, sneezing, runny nose or nasal congestion see an allergist to get the most effective treatment plan possible.
Beyond that, here are a few steps you can take to make allergy season considerably more pleasant.
Prime yourself during the preseason
Begin taking your medication several weeks before pollen counts increase. When patients do this "priming" before allergens become a problem, they tend to reduce their sensitivity.
Don't bring pollen to bed with you
Take a shower in the evening to wash the pollen out of your hair before you go to bed. Otherwise, it will sit on your pillow and you'll inhale it all night.
Know when to work out
Pollen counts are highest in the morning. So if you like to run, walk or do other activities outside, plan them in the evening, when pollen counts are lower.
Myron Zitt, M.D., is an allergist practicing with the Long Island Allergy Group and president emeritus of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Learn more about the College at ACAAI.org
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