The Sneeze

Seasonal Allergy Survival Guide

July 21, 2022

Written By:

Meenakshi Rana, MD

Seasonal Allergy Survival Guide

As the weather heats up, so do seasonal allergies. And if you’re one of the more than 50 million Americans that suffers from allergies, you may be dreading this time of year. But you deserve to enjoy the beautiful weather and not hide indoors from it!

We all know sneezing and a runny nose to be the most obvious symptoms of pollen allergies, but they can also trigger itchy eyes, a sore throat, coughing, headaches, fatigue, skin rashes and, if left untreated, even asthma attacks.

Often, we wait to control symptoms until allergy season hits and pollens are everywhere and in high numbers, but It’s important to get ahead of your allergies so you are controlling them and not the other way around. Research has shown that being proactive in the assessment and management of allergies leads to better outcomes for patients compared to playing catch up once allergies have begun.

Here are a few ways to combat those seasonal allergies:

Find out what you’re allergic to: If you don’t know what you’re allergic to, you’ll never truly know your triggers and how to find a long-term solution. 

Know the pollen counts: The morning news or a local or national app will be useful to track pollen counts in your area. Know when they are high, typically between 5 to 10am, and plan activities around it. I like to use which is a free site to find out the allergens in your area.

Cover your head and eyes: Wearing a hat when outside can keep pollens from sticking to your hair. Sunglasses and other eyewear can help keep pollen out of your eyes which can be irritating. 

Don’t bring the outside in: We all love that summer breeze but keeping doors and windows closed can help keep pollen out. Removing shoes and changing clothes can greatly improve allergy symptoms when inside our home. 

Change filters regularly: The air filters in our home can trap all kinds of dust and allergenic particles. It’s best to change filters at least quarterly, and consider doing it more often if you have pets.

Keep your bedroom your sanctuary: We spend a good chunk of our 24 hours in our bedroom. You can control your bedroom environment by showering and rinsing off before bed to prevent pollens from getting on your sheets and pillow. Using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, designed to capture over 95% of airborne particles, should keep that bedroom air nice and clean.

Find an allergy treatment option that works for you: These are some tips and tricks that you can do at home to help alleviate your allergies, but if you have suffered for many seasons and continue to struggle due to allergies, it’s time to find a long term solution and call your allergy specialist. Allergists can help you identify what you are allergic to and assist with establishing a plan of action to finally solve the issue, rather than just masking the symptoms.