After a dreary Texas winter, it’s hard to find fault with the birdsong and fresh green growth of spring. Unless, of course, you have springtime allergies. All that sneezing, those itchy eyes, and the constant nasal drainage can make it hard to celebrate the new season.
At Calvary Medical Clinic, with offices in Cleveland, Livingston, and Humble, Texas, our team of top-rated health care professionals understand the misery springtime allergies can cause. That’s why we’re happy to offer practical tips on how to minimize your symptoms so you can enjoy the season.
Understanding spring allergies
If you’ve got allergies, you’ve likely heard that they’re due to an overly reactive immune system that mistakenly identifies certain substances (allergens) as toxic to your system. As your body tries to fight off these microscopic invaders, it sends out powerful chemicals, such as histamine, that in turn cause the itching, sneezing, and congestion that signal allergies.
The most common trigger for an overly sensitive immune system is pollen. As part of their reproductive cycle, trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers release pollen into the air. Some trees and grasses send out pollen in the fall. Many plants and trees, however, spread their love in the spring. This can fill springtime breezes with enough pollen to make life miserable when you have allergies.
Taking charge of your springtime allergies
When you have an allergy, the priority is to avoid whatever substance triggers your symptoms. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible with the amount of pollen floating through a Texas spring. Thus, the approach to effectively controlling springtime allergy symptoms typically involves medication as well as developing habits that minimize your pollen exposure.
Try these simple steps to control your spring allergy symptoms:
Start your medication early
We generally advise our patients to start your allergy medication before spring arrives and continue it even when you don’t have symptoms. Many people mistakenly stop their medication when they don’t develop the expected allergy symptoms, not realizing it’s the medication that’s keeping the sneezing, itchy eyes, etc. under control.
Spring clean early and often
Prevent sneeze-producing dust and pollen from building up indoors by:
- Vacuuming carpets regularly
- Washing bedding weekly
- Frequently changing filters on your vacuum and air filtration system
- Cleaning solid surface flooring with a damp mop or other recommended cleaner
- Wiping down sporting equipment and other outdoor gear after each use
- Leaving jackets, shoes, etc. at the door or otherwise isolated from your indoor space
- Closing the windows when pollen counts climb
Remember to include your car and/or truck in your weekly pollen cleanup, and roll the windows up when you’re out and about. Nightly showers and shampoos also help remove pollen from your skin and hair before it has a chance to settle on your pillows and sheets.
Check the pollen forecast
Monitor pollen counts via the newspaper, television, or internet and schedule outdoor activities when counts are low. Most sources will give you a range of pollen counts over several days. Pollen counts generally rise in the morning, peak about midday, fall during the afternoon and early evening, and are often at their worst on warm, dry days.
If you need further assistance with allergy treatment or any health care need, schedule a visit at one of our Calvary Medical Clinic offices today. We’re here to help. Call our office or book an appointment online.