Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion. More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.
Allergies are an overreaction of the immune system to substances that generally do not affect other individuals. These substances, or allergens, can cause sneezing, coughing, and itching. Allergic reactions range from merely bothersome to life-threatening. Some allergies are seasonal, like hay fever. Allergies have also been associated with chronic conditions like sinusitis and asthma.
While you can’t completely prevent the unpleasant symptoms brought on by seasonal allergies, you can take some simple measures to lessen your exposure to common allergens.
Tips for Hay Fever Sufferers
Know your local pollen/mold counts.
If possible, stay indoors when counts are forecasted to be high to very high.
Stay indoors between 5:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. when pollen counts are usually at their highest.
Use an air conditioner to clean your indoor air.
Replace air filters often.
Avoid contact with pets that have been outdoors.
Shower and wash your hair after being outdoors (especially before bed).
Keeps windows closed when pollen counts are high.
Remove carpets, which can trap allergens.
Enclose mattresses with allergy-free covers.
Wash your clothes often.
Keep pets out of bedrooms.
Get help with outdoor chores like raking and mowing during allergy season.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and potential prescription and over-the-counter treatment options. As with all medications, read labels carefully and use only as directed.