Spring brings lovely weather and the opportunity to go outdoors more often. However, many people suffer from allergies, which get worse in the spring thanks to the pollen and ragweed season. Pollen and pollutants can cause anyone to have difficulty breathing, but they can be particularly problematic for those with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Breathing problems are common among the elderly, and allergies can aggravate preexisting issues.
Take a few steps to help you or your loved on get some relief from spring allergies. Find your triggers. Do certain budding trees or flowers make your allergies worse? Maybe hot, windy days are more problematic than cooler, breezy days. Pay attention to what aggravates your allergies and avoid triggers. Also, try to stay inside during the mornings. Between 5 and 10 a.m., pollen counts are higher than during any other time of day.
Allergies aren’t just an outdoor problem, however. Studies show that the levels of indoor pollution in U.S. homes exceed the levels of outdoor pollution by 2 to 100 times. Make sure your air conditioning systems have the proper air filters. Regularly dusting and cleaning carpets and upholstered furniture can help rid your living environment of pollutants. Leaving windows open allows pollen to drift in on the breeze. If you go outside and come back in, you’re bringing in allergens with you. If you’re sensitive to pollen, changing clothes or taking a shower after being outside can help cut allergies short.
Remember, there’s no reason to suffer from allergies. Check with your doctor to see if over-the-counter remedies like nasal sprays or antihistamines are safe for you to use. If your allergies are more severe, your primary care doctor should be able to administer a simple allergy test to see what’s causing the problem.
Don’t let allergies keep you or your loved ones from enjoying the spring weather. Get outside and take advantage of the sunshine!