|Posted on July 30, 2014 at 8:00 PM|
1. Showering Only in the Morning
When you spend a lot of time outside, particularly if you’re working
out in the yard, pollen can end up on your skin and hair, worsening
allergy symptoms. If you’re highly allergic to pollen, it’s a good
idea to take a second shower after you come inside, to rinse away
the pollen and help avoid allergy symptoms, explains Mark S.
Dykewicz, MD, professor of internal medicine and director of
allergy and immunology at the Wake Forest University School of
Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.
2. Wearing Shoes In and Around Your House
You can carry quite a bit of pollen into the house after you’ve been
exposed to it by exercising or working outside. If you don’t take off
your shoes as soon as you come into the house, you may be
tracking pollen into every room. The same goes for your
clothes. It’s not necessary for everyone, but if seasonal allergies
like hay fever are particularly troublesome for you, change your
clothes as soon as you come in and throw them in the wash to keep
allergy symptoms from following you home, Dr. Dykewicz advises.
3. Opening the Windows Once Spring Hits
It can be hard to resist the allure of a warm spring breeze once the
temperature rises, but opening your windows when seasonal
allergies are at their peak is like giving pollen an open invitation to
invade your living space and cause allergy symptoms. Keeping
your windows closed and using an air conditioner with an allergy
filter can be an effective way of treating allergies and may help you
breathe better, says Dykewicz.
4. Having a Drink With Dinner
Drinking any type of alcohol increases blood flow to the linings of
your nose and can make nasal allergy symptoms worse, notes
Dykewicz. Also, if you’re someone who has year-round nasal
issues, including frequent congestion, this scenario can be
complicated by alcohol. When seasonal allergies hit and you’re
already feeling congested, skip the beer or wine to avoid worsening
5. Inhaling Chlorine and Strong Perfumes
Odors such as chlorine from a swimming pool and strong perfumes
can irritate the nasal airways and lungs and make you cough.
Irritants such as perfume and dyes in cosmetics and cleaning
products can also cause an allergic skin reaction, known as
contact dermatitis. Dermatitis can cause a rash, lead to itching,
which will make your other allergy symptoms feel even worse.
6. Skipping Short-Acting Allergy Meds at Night
Some medications for treating allergies like cetirizine (Zyrtec) and
fexofenadine (Allegra) last 24 hours and don’t need to be taken at
night. But if you’re combating allergy symptoms with a different
antihistamine first thing in the morning, keep in mind that its effects
will only last six to eight hours. If you don’t take it again before
going to bed, you may wake up to more allergy symptoms in the
morning, Dykewicz says. Check the label of your medication to be
sure you’re taking the correct number of doses for
your seasonal allergies.
7. Using a Humidifier
If you’re allergic to dust mites, using a humidifier may make your
allergy symptoms worse, especially if you use one in your
bedroom. Humidity promotes the growth of dust mites, Dykewicz
explains. The best thing for treating allergies from dust mites is dry
air. So if you suspect a dust mite allergy, stop using your humidifier
and see if your symptoms improve.
8. Eating Foods That Can Cause a Reaction
People with seasonal allergies often have antibodies that can cause
their immune system to overreact to certain foods. This
phenomenon is called cross-reactivity. For instance, if you’re
allergic to ragweed, you may experience allergy symptoms like
itching on your lips, tongue, and mouth if you eat bananas, melons,
cucumber, or zucchini, Dykewicz says. If you’re allergic to birch
tree pollen, you may have allergy symptoms after eating
apples, pears, peaches, hazelnuts, kiwi, carrots, or celery. These
problems may only occur during the season that your allergies are at
their worst. Regardless of the season, help minimize your allergy
symptoms by keeping all of these triggers in mind and avoiding them
as much as possible.
Remember: every step you take to ensure an allergy friendly home and a less-reactive-you helps you enjoy your Siberian kitten with less worry that you will become reactive as time passes.