Healthcare Tips

Tips to Help Your Asthma and Allergies

April 26, 2024

Not everyone enjoys springtime, especially the millions of allergy sufferers out there. Spring brings optimal conditions for inflammatory flares as pollen counts soar. We can’t eliminate the pollen, but we can offer you some tips to help your asthma and allergies, allowing you to engage in more springtime fun this year.

But first, it’s important to understand the relationship between asthma and allergies. Asthma and allergies are not causal in relationship – one does not cause the other. However, they are correlated; if you experience allergies, you are more likely to get asthma. And, if you do have asthma and then experience an allergic reaction, it may trigger an asthma attack.

Tips to Help Your Asthma and Allergies

Reducing your exposure to pollen is the top tip for avoiding allergy symptoms. Staying inside and using your air conditioner throughout the season is a great way to avoid triggering your exposure. Make sure to maintain your HVAC’s filter system regularly, replacing or cleaning the filters as recommended by the manufacturer. You can also place air purifiers outfitted with a HEPA filter in the rooms in your home you use the most, like your bedroom.

If it’s hard to avoid time outdoors, there are a couple things you can do to minimize exposure to pollen outside. Pollen counts are highest right before dawn. Avoid early morning time outdoors, and opt for time spent outside later in the day. Pollen counts continue to drop, reaching their lowest levels before dusk. A good rain will also clear the air of pollen, so that’s a prime time to get outdoors without triggering your allergies too badly.

When you come inside, make it your practice to change clothes and take a quick rinse in the shower. This reduces the amount of pollen that is sticking to you. Pollen loves to stick to your hair, and also to clothes that are line-dried outdoors. 

A second line of defense is over-the-counter, or OTC, medications.This includes things like antihistamines, decongestants and nasal sprays. There are two types of nasal sprays. Cromolyn sodium nasal sprays can be used both frequently and before symptoms start. Corticosteroid nasal spray improves symptoms but may not be suitable for long-term use. Your care provider can provide insight into what’s best for you. 

Finally, if you suffer from severe and persistent allergies then you may be a candidate for allergy shots. After thorough testing to determine your specific allergy triggers, a series of shots is given. This works by desensitizing your immune system to these triggers so that your body doesn’t react when exposed. Diagnosis and treatment can take several months or longer, but it can also offer lifelong relief.

Gateway Hancock Health wishes you an enjoyable spring. We would love to help you combat seasonal allergies if this is something you struggle with. Don’t hesitate, reach out today!

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