1 in 5 Canadians Suffer from Seasonal Allergies
It’s officially spring. Days are getting longer, the grass is getting greener, and the trees are starting to bud. Spring is a great time of year to get outside and become more active, but it’s no walk in the park if you’re among the 1 in 5 Canadians who suffer from seasonal allergies. Pollen in the air can trigger hay fever (seasonal allergic rhinitis caused by allergies to airborne mold spores or pollens from trees, grass, and weeds). Seasonal allergy sufferers experience irritating symptoms similar to a common cold—like a runny nose; itchy eyes, nose, throat, and roof of mouth; sneezing; watery eyes; congestion; pressure in nose and cheeks; and post nasal drip.
Here are some tips to help provide relief:
- At least two weeks before allergy season, start taking your preferred medication before your symptoms become severe. Once you start experiencing symptoms it becomes more difficult to manage them.
- For nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, try an OTC nasal spray such as Dristan.
- OTC eye drops such as Claritin Eye Allergy Relief can help reduce symptoms such as the itchy and watery eyes that we often see with seasonal allergies.
- Non-sedating OTC oral antihistamines such as Claritin, Reactine, and Aerius are effective at managing the symptoms of seasonal allergies and typically do not cause drowsiness.
- Replace your furnace filter.
- Change the allergy filter in your air conditioning unit.
- Indoors—try a HEPA air purifier to improve air quality in your home.
- Deal with dust in your home by using a damp cloth to trap and remove the particles from your household surfaces.
- Know your seasonal allergy triggers. Pollen is usually the most common culprit of outdoor seasonal allergies.
- Keep doors and windows closed and avoid yard work, or outside exercise when pollen counts are high (usually mid-morning and early evening, but this may vary).
- Sites like Accuweather and the Weather Network can help you determine when allergens such as pollen count are high in your location.
- Keep pollen out of your eyes by wearing sunglasses or glasses while outside.
Our Wello NPs can help you develop an allergy plan based on your specific symptoms. Allergy testing for common environmental allergies may also be required to identify your triggers. Book an appointment with a Wello Nurse Practitioner to discuss treatment options.