7 ways to survive spring allergies

There’s nothing like springtime in Kentucky. Maybe it’s the beautiful bluegrass, the Kentucky Derby festivities … or the fact that our area has been named “the most challenging place to live with allergies” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

There’s nothing like springtime in Kentucky. Maybe it’s the beautiful bluegrass, the Kentucky Derby festivities … or the fact that our area has been named “the most challenging place to live with allergies” by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, there are ways to survive them and enjoy all the good things spring has to offer. Here are some tips from Brian A. DePrest, M.D., family physician:

1. The key to enjoying those gorgeous spring days is not to treat allergy symptoms, but to prevent them before symptoms start. Pretreat with an antihistamine about 30 minutes before your day begins to minimize suffering later.

2. Start this regimen before allergy season kicks in, when pollens are just starting to emerge — usually early March in the Louisville area. Then, be sure to have “rescue” medication on hand, such as allergy reducing eye drops and a decongestant.

3. Shut out pollen from your home. Even though it’s tempting to open the windows and get some of that fresh air in, refrain from doing so.

4. Keep areas of the house where allergens accumulate especially clean, such as air filters, bedding, carpet and upholstered furniture. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

5. Change clothes once you are in your house after being outside. And do not line-dry clothes outside. Pollen sticks very well to fabric.

6. Shower before going to bed so that you do not introduce allergens from your hair or skin to your bedding.

7. Avoid outdoor activities when pollen counts are highest, usually the morning hours. Also, hot, dry days usually see more pollen than cooler, wet days.

Finally, if over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants and saline nasal spray aren’t providing relief, see your primary care physician. You may need a prescription medication, steroid nasal spray or allergy shots.


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