Five Tips to Survive the Allergy Drip
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Allergies. Just the word itself makes me want to cringe! Allergy season for me brings what I like to refer to as the dreaded ‘allergy drip’. Starting in the spring right through to the fall it is not unusual to see me with tissue stuck up one nostril trying to prevent the ‘drip’ from escaping, red-eyed and just overall in a miserable mood. This is also the busiest time of the year for us as a family with our son’s competitive soccer, swimming outside and travelling, so there is no way I can just hide away in my bedroom (which honestly most days I want to when allergy season hits!).
After several years of dealing with allergies I have learned some tricks to cope with allergy season. Here are my top tips to get you through this difficult season.
Make an Appointment with Your Family Doctor
Before you start on any type of medication routine, seek the opinion of your family doctor if you have any questions or concerns about medication. Your family doctor may refer you to an allergist and this is important for so many reasons. Your allergist will likely complete a skin prick test to determine what exactly you are allergic to (indoor vs outdoor allergens or pet/food allergies) and help determine what kind of medications you should be on, especially if you have any coexisting conditions such as asthma. Knowing what allergens you are allergic to is essential to minimizing symptoms during the peak of allergy season. You can’t prevent allergic symptoms if you don’t know what you are protecting yourself from!
Find a Product That Works For You
Find an over the counter medication that works for you, in my case this is REACTINE®. REACTINE® provides me with 24 hour non-drowsy relief during the day and prevents what I like to refer to as the ‘Allergy Fog’ (the lovely sedating effect some allergy medications can have on your mind and body). When I take REACTINE® morning after morning, my body constantly maintains the level of antihistamine so it doesn’t need to build the level up again (talk to your doctor for daily use beyond 6 months).Make an appointment with your family doctor to see if you require a nasal spray.
Use a Nasal Rinse
While this may not be everyone’s favourite thing to do, it offers a lot of sinus relief. Allergic sinus pain can be quite painful, with the pressure in your cheekbones, forehead or extending into your teeth. Using an over the counter nasal rinse (I use mine twice daily during the worst part of the season) will help to remove any excess mucous build up while moisturizing dry nostrils. The bonus (but a bit of a gross bonus) is that you can literally see this technique working, plus the relief is instant. This can be used in addition to allergy medication, like REACTINE®. If it still feels like you have some water in your nose after you complete the rinse, try to gently blow your nose to remove any additional saline.
Keep the Windows Closed and Air Conditioner On
While it is always nice to leave the windows open during the summer months (not to mention better for the environment and electricity bills), this is actually introducing pollen into your home. This only makes it that much harder for allergic individuals. I still remember how last year, my husband tried to cool down the house with the windows open but when it came to go to bed I could not sleep because my eyes were itching and my nose was running.
Monitor the Air Quality and Pollen Reports
Your local news station and the Weather Network are perfect for keeping you up to date with the air quality and pollen reports. You can also follow @ReactineCA on Twitter for local pollen forecasts. If the air quality is poor and the pollen count high, it is a much better idea to stay indoors as much as possible. Why worsen your symptoms if you can avoid them? If you do have to be outside, ensure you medicate as indicated and if you require inhalers bring them with you. Try to be in locations where if it is needed you can find somewhere to cool down inside at intervals.
While you can’t erase all of your allergy symptoms no matter how hard you may wish that they would just go away, you can significantly reduce your symptoms with a combination of REACTINE®, nasal sprays, rinses, being aware of pollen reports and planning wisely. Always remember to keep a large stock of tissue wherever you go because there is nothing more embarrassing than being caught with your nose dripping and no tissue around!
How do you treat your allergies during allergy season?