We all look forward to spring after the gloomy, sniffly winter doldrums. But just because the cold and flu season has passed doesn’t mean our sinuses are out of the woods. Springtime means allergies, and that can bring around a dark April shower to rain on anyone’s parade.
Spring allergies are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Our tips for staying ahead of seasonal allergies will help you head off your symptoms for a happier, less sniffly spring.
Know Your Triggers
Depending on your environment, you may face different sources of allergies at different times of day. Knowing the what and why is the easiest way to stay ahead of seasonal allergies.
Pollen causes most allergies. While most plants produce some form of pollen, certain kinds are more allergenic than others. Knowing which plants in your environment cause your allergies will help you avoid them. A few heavy hitters include:
Keep in mind that pollen isn’t the only thing that triggers allergies. Dust, mold, and insect stings—all of which are more common as the weather gets warmer and wetter—may also spark symptoms. Try to inspect your home regularly for insect and mold infestations or dust.
Anyone with allergies will tell you that allergy symptoms are better or worse depending on the day or time of day. Fortunately, you can stay on top of what makes allergies worse at different times.
Many plants hit their blooming seasons during spring, which is why many seasonal allergies occur now. However, different plants start blooming at different times. For instance, oak trees bloom far longer than other trees, making them a bigger allergy threat.
Depending on your allergies, your symptoms worsen in specific weather conditions. For example, warm, dry days create the perfect conditions for pollen and dust, and a little extra wind can make it even worse. Wet, humid days are better for pollen and dust allergies, but they make mold allergies worse.
Time of Day
Pollen is at its worst from mid-morning to noon and at its lowest in the early morning and evening, making those the best times of day for outdoor activity. But dust is often in your carpets, curtains, and bedsheets, so you may find dust allergies get worse at night.
Keep It Clean
Allergens don’t only stay in the air. As we walk around outside or open our windows, they get caught on our hair, skin, clothes, and other fabrics. Often, the easiest way to reduce allergy symptoms is to rinse off and change clothes when you come inside. Taking the time to regularly dust, sweep, and change air filters also goes a long way toward keeping allergens out.
You don’t have to wait until your symptoms are raging before you take your allergy medication. If you start taking it just before allergy season, you can head off symptoms before they even start.