Spring, the season of rebirth. The aroma of blooming flowers and sweet notes of songbirds. The verdant riot of trees and grasses returning to life.
And if you suffer from allergies – the itching, sneezing, runny nose, sore throat and swollen, puffy, itchy eyes, causing you misery – what can you do?
The best medicine is to limit exposure to all of that beautiful nature, at least until the pollen is gone, says Dr. Bill Simons of Montana Eyecare. Remedies can relieve the symptoms, but nothing can prevent them if you come into contact with your allergy triggers.
Dr. Simons offers these 12 ideas to avoid pollen:
1. Stay indoors as much as possible, particularly on dry, windy days. Conditions are worse in the morning and improve at night, when winds generally die down, and after a rain, when the offending pollen gets washed away.
2. Monitor pollen counts.
Stay indoors when they are high, or begin taking allergy medications before you go out.
3. When you’re outside, avoid the garden.
That’s where the offending pollen lives. Steer particularly clear of mowing the lawn, which stirs up the pollen into the air, where your nose breathes it in.
4. When you come indoors, wash your skin, hair and clothes.
This removes the pollen that is sticking to you and decreases the amount of pollen that ends up on your furniture, pillow and bed sheets.
5. Consider a pollen mask when you’re outdoors.
If you suffer from severe allergies, this may be necessary.
6. Rinse your sinuses.
Washing out your nasal passages with a saline solution clears them of allergens. If your home is relatively pollen-free, that will provide you with relief until you go out again.
7. Avoid sleeping with open windows.
That’s just inviting your enemy in for the night.
8. Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.
It traps small particulates, like pollen, that an ordinary vacuum might expel. Use high-efficiency filters on your HVAC as well.
9. Consider over-the-counter remedies.
Antihistamines such as Claritin, Zyrtec and Allegra reduce the inflammation that can cause many of your allergy symptoms, like runny nose and watery eyes, but they don’t clear your nose and they can dry out your eyes.
Decongestants provide temporary relief from a stuffy nose. They come in oral form, such as Sudafed, or in nasal sprays, such as Afrin and Neo-Synephrine. Avoid taking nasal decongestant sprays more than two days in a row or you could end up drying out the mucous in your nose and compounding your problems.
There are also combination decongestant and antihistamine products, like Claritin-D and Allegra-D.
10. Use eye drops.
They relieve symptoms by draining allergens from the eyes and replace any lost lubrication. If you’re taking oral antihistamines, you almost certainly need lubricating eye drops to counteract the drying out effect. Eye drops and gels work more quickly than oral medication.
11. If over the counter eye drops don’t work, see your eye doctor.
Optometrists and ophthalmologists commonly prescribe anti-allergy prescription eye drops that are more effective.
12. Take special care if you wear contact lenses.
Your eye doctor can prescribe special eye drops made for people who wear contact lenses to help relieve allergy symptoms while keeping lenses free of pollen. Contact lenses that you dispose of daily are also an option to eliminate the buildup of pollen.
Allergies can ruin springtime for those who suffer reactions, but taking these precautions can help you enjoy the blooming season once again. If you suffer from allergies, call Montana Eyecare today at (406) 443-2121 and find out how they can help you see and enjoy the changing seasons. Visit www.montanaeyecare.com for more information.
550 North Montana Avenue
Helena, MT 59601
Montana Eye Care
At Montana Eyecare, our professional eye care staff will be happy to assist you with your vision needs. We have treatment options available for everyone. Whether you are interested in making an appointment for a LASIK consultation, have cataracts, need an annual eye exam, or just need glasses, we can help!
The doctors and staff of Montana EyeCare are dedicated healthcare professionals committed to providing excellence of quality and service to each of our patients. At Montana Eyecare you will find a caring team of professionals dedicated to providing high quality personalized eye care for the whole family. We value our patient relationships and strive to improve your quality of life and vision wellness through uncompromised service and state-of-the-art technology. Dr. Bill Simons, Dr. Bill Hasquet, Dr. Marcus Kelley, Dr. Rob Simons and their staff are a close-working team dedicated to meeting the vision care needs of the people of Helena. We invite you to refer your friends and family to our comprehensive website and our practice. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office at (406) 443-2121.
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