If you are one of the lucky one in six people suffering from seasonal allergies, you know they are about as welcome as fruit flies establishing base camp in your kitchen. The hot, dry and often windy weather we’ve had in the Victoria area is likely exacerbating your symptoms.
Allergens will peak in the spring when plants release enormous amounts of pollen into the air. Symptoms of allergic reaction can last from weeks to months, well into late fall. They are caused by an overreaction of your immune system to common substances which cause histamines to be released in your blood system. This, in turn, causes inflammation and allergy symptoms. Seasonal allergies are also known as hay fever and allergic rhinitis.
The most common symptoms of seasonal allergies include runny nose, frequent sneezing, sinus congestion, itchy and watering eyes, wheezing, coughing and fatigue.
Your goal is to reduce your exposure to allergens. Pollen is highest during morning hours and during hot, dry, windy days. Stay indoors and close your windows when pollen counts are highest. Wash your hair and shower after being outdoors. Remove your shoes before entering your home. Keep your lawn cut short. Wash your bedding regularly as well as your shower curtain. If possible, spend time near the water where pollen counts are low. Drink lots of water and eat foods rich in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation.
Most people find relief from seasonal allergies with OTC medications. Some may need to see their doctor, have allergen testing done and need prescribed medication.
Some OTC medications may have drug interactions, cause drowsiness and dry mouth. Talk to one of our pharmacists at any one of our five Heart locations and we will work with you to find the best OTC fit for you. Tell us what seems to trigger your symptoms.
Like most conditions, seasonal allergies are best treated before you are having a full blown attack. If you know you are spending a lot of time outdoors, take medication before you go out.
Seasonal allergies are annoying but not debilitating. Lifestyle changes and OTC medication will help you enjoy our beautiful summers. Come on in and talk to us. Heart pharmacists want to help you as we have helped many allergy sufferers.