7 Ways to Control Spring Allergies in San Diego
Spring is in the air – along with pollen, dust and a host of other irritants. If you or your family suffers from allergies, then a runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes can make for a not-so-fun spring season.
Follow these strategies to help combat your San Diego springtime allergies, and start feeling back to normal in no time!
- Keep windows closed on high pollen count days: Everyone loves a beautiful, breezy spring day. While it may be tempting to throw open all your windows and welcome in the fresh air, be sure you aren’t doing this on a high pollen count day. The hotter and drier the day, the more pollen activity there is – especially between 10am and 4pm. Check the pollen count every morning so you know which days you need to keep the windows shut.
- Don’t line-dry your laundry: Tiny pollen particles can easily attach themselves to anything. The longer something is outside, the more opportunity they have to latch onto it. During the spring months, bring all of your laundry inside to dry either on a rack or in the dryer. You don’t want to be sleeping for hours in bed linens that are covered in invisible irritants!
- Delegate lawn care: During allergy season, it’s important to delegate your regular lawn maintenance to either a professional landscaping service or to a capable family member who doesn’t suffer from allergies. Spending extended time out among pollen-generating plants and weeds can make your springtime allergies much worse – and not just temporarily. A hefty dose of allergens can extend and worsen your allergy symptoms for days after the fact.
- Flush out your sinuses: Saline solution is great, effective and inexpensive way to treat nasal congestion caused by both colds and allergies. If spring allergies have you all clogged up, try flushing your nasal passages out with saline. It rinses out mucus and allergens quickly so you can breathe easier. To deliver the saline to your sinuses, try a neti pot or a squeeze bottle, both of which are available at drugstores.
- Allergy-proof your indoors: Oftentimes, it’s not enough to simply stay put indoors to avoid a runny-nosed sneeze-fest. Allergens are microscopic and therefore can easily enter your home on clothing, shoes, skin and hair. Asking family members to change their clothes and bathe after they come inside for the day can help mitigate allergies. But you’ll also want to invest in some high-quality HEPA air purifiers to place throughout your home. These devices are very effective at removing airborne allergens like pollen, mold, dust and even bacteria.
- Wear glasses and a mask when outside: Even on lower pollen count spring days, if you spend time outside, always wear glasses or sunglasses. Covering your eyes keeps many irritants away from this sensitive area, helping to reduce itchiness and redness. You should also buy a lightweight, breathable dust mask that covers your mouth and nose. Choose one that is certified to filter out at least 95% of airborne particles.
- Use medication, and see the doctor as needed: Seasonal allergies often respond to many over-the-counter medications. Look for non-drowsy antihistamines, which will keep you alert during your daily routine. Eye drops are also an effective and long-lasting way to lubricate your eyes, keeping itching and redness to a minimum. If your allergy symptoms are unrelenting despite treatment, or they seem to be worsening, see your doctor to check for other possible causes.
Spring allergies got the best of you? Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups is your source for San Diego’s most qualified Allergy and Immunology Specialists. Make an appointment with us today.