For many of us, spring is the time to be outdoors and rejuvenate from the winter season making it difficult if you are someone who suffers from allergies. Spring is a prime time for allergies in Texas due to the overwhelming release of pollen from trees, oaks, and grasses. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has even ranked the state of Texas in the top 35 most challenging places to live with spring allergies.
Surviving Spring Allergies in Texas
Suffering from springtime allergies can cause varying symptoms that may damper one's quality of life. From runny noses, asthma, and sneezing, common allergic symptoms during the spring are extremely common. Using over-the-counter decongestants and nasal sprays is a good way to relieve symptoms, as well as antihistamine medication including Zyrtec and Claritin.
Cleaning your home and eliminating any risk of dust is just as important. Dust can get easily hidden in feather pillows, down blankets, venetian blinds, and wall-to-wall carpeting. Ensuring a purified home can help combat arising symptoms.
Some helpful tips to combat spring allergies include:
- Try to stay indoors when pollen counts are highest (midday-afternoon)
- Use air conditioning and close your doors and windows inside your home
- Frequently clean air filters throughout your home
- Ensure your using a HEPA air purifier
- Wear a mask when doing outside chores such as watering plants and mowing the lawn
The tree pollen count is very high in Irving, Texas, so knowing which allergens to avoid is important to combat possible symptoms. Because pollen is an airborne allergen, it makes it easier to spread when wind passes over. Some of the most common tee pollen creators include:
- Cedar elm
Rinse Out Your Sinuses
Rinsing your nasal passages with saline solution (nasal irrigation) relieves nasal congestion quickly and effectively. This method flushes mucus and allergens directly from the nose.
To reduce the risk of infection, use bottled water when using a home-made saline solution or a ready-made solution. Ready-made saline solutions and kits can also be purchased.
Make your own solutions by mixing 1 quart (1 liter) of water with 1.5 teaspoons (7.5 milliliters) of canning salt and 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of baking soda.
There are several types of nonprescription medications that can help ease allergy symptoms. Among these are:
- Using antihistamines orally will help relieve symptoms such as itching, sneezing, a stuffy nose, and watery eyes. Some examples are cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy), fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy), and loratadine (Claritin, Alavert).
- Fluticasone propionate (Flonase Allergy Relief), budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy) and triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour) are all corticosteroid nasal sprays that improve nasal symptoms. If you use corticosteroid nasal sprays long-term, consult your health care provider.
- Using Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can reduce allergy symptoms by blocking the release of immune system agents responsible for them. It works best when used prior to exposure to allergens. Although it is considered a safe treatment, it needs to be taken 4 to 6 times daily in order to be effective.
- The use of oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) can temporarily relieve nasal congestion. Some allergy medications include an antihistamine and a decongestant. It is possible to treat allergy symptoms with decongestants such as cetirizine-pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D 12 Hour), fexofenadine-pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D 12 Hour Allergency and Congestion) or loratadine-pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D).
If you need additional help or resources and still are suffering from your spring allergies, please don’t hesitate to contact our compassionate team at Academic Medical Associates for a consultation. We can help find comprehensive solutions to manage your allergic symptoms.