Spring has sprung. In the south, we may not have much of a winter, but we always have pollen season. We are currently in the thick of heavy yellow thick pollen. Weathermen and women are reporting daily pollen counts along with the temperatures. The pollen changes the color of our vehicles and can be so heavy it can appear to be raining pollen.
Pollen season can wreak havoc on everyone’s allergies. My husband and his family are from a northern state. The first spring I knew them, they experienced the miserable sneezing, congestion and tiredness that pollen season can bring. While it is difficult to escape the side effects of pollen season, there are some tricks that can lessen its impact.
Shower at Night During Pollen Season
Anyone who spends a little bit of time outside during pollen season may feel mildly dirty. I recently spent a couple of hours doing some yard work and laid my phone nearby. When I headed inside my home, my phone was covered in visible pollen particles. As the pollen would cling to my phone, it also clings to our clothes and hair. Sleeping next to pollen particles in hair throughout the night can increase the negative symptoms.
Nightly hair washing to remove pollen particles can help reduce some symptoms and exposure during the pollen season. It may be a pain, but it can help. Change pillowcases frequently when hair cannot be washed at night.
Over the Counter Antihistamines
Growing up there were not many medicines to help with allergies. Thankfully, the pharmaceutical market offers several options to help combat the symptoms. Antihistamines such as Claritin and Zyrtec are available over-the-counter and in cheaper generic forms. They are most effective when taken daily and before allergy symptoms begin. Antihistamines are often available in liquid, tablets and dissolvable pills.
In addition, nose sprays such as Flonase and Nasonex are helpful and over-the-counter. Both sprays work differently than oral antihistamines targeting the nasal passage directly. As with antihistamines, nasal sprays work most effectively when used daily and before symptoms begin.
Keep Pollen Outside
Remove shoes before entering the house to limit tracking pollen. Frequently vacuum and/or clean floors during allergy seasons. Although it may be tempting to fling open windows and doors, hold off until the worst of the pollen has passed.
Sinus washes are reported as being effective for some people to battling symptoms of pollen. Spring pollen is thick and heavy and difficult to pass through the sinuses. Washing the sinuses at night could clear out stuck pollen and reduce irritating symptoms. Be careful to read instructions, clean equipment thoroughly and use purified water. Failure to follow instructions with sinus washes could lead to other health consequences.