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WELLtip: Managing your seasonal allergies

Posted May 21 2009 10:31pm

Maybe it's the cold, wet spring we have had, but I have been hearing from friends that their seasonal allergies are especially acute this year. Staying indoors with the windows closed isn't an option for everyone. What can you do to go on with your life but minimize symptoms?

1. Avoid high-pollen times. Check to find out the pollen count forecast; it's a good idea to start taking your medication just before a high-pollen day. Additionally, pollen counts are highest in the morning, so if you can avoid going outdoors any time of the day, this is it.

2. If you spend time outdoors, remove your clothing and wash it as soon as you return so the pollen doesn't follow you back indoors. Watch out for pets who play outdoors as well.

3. If possible, replace carpets and rugs (which can trap allergens) with hard flooring. This is especially helpful in the bedroom. If you cannot change your carpeting, do vacuum it daily.

4. Wash your sheets and towels in hot (130 F/54 C) water to kill spores.

5. Minimize humidity in your home. This may include running your air conditioning, but fixing leaks and ridding your home of any collecting water will also help.

6. If you are concerned about taking medications, talk with your doctor about trying homeopathic remedies.

The best part of seasonal allergies? They go away eventually. In the meantime, hang in there!

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