Seasonal allergies – Top tips for suffering outdoor enthusiasts
Are you a big fan of the great outdoors, yet you don’t feel so good out there during allergy season?
Do you get excited when going on a hiking trip, but as soon as you step outside you get annoyed by the sneezing, scratching and itchy eyes? Well, I feel you and the thousands that also suffer with allergies.
In my teenage years, I started to feel that something was wrong with by body, especially during the spring. I got rashes on my face, runny nose, and I sneezed a lot. I went to the doctor, did some testings, and it turned out that I was allergic to many things, but mostly to pollen.
In the beginning, I ignored the reactions of my body, but after a while it was unbearable. Every hike, camping trip, or even the walk to the park was ruined. I did some research and started to prepare before heading outside into nature. It helped a lot, and I began to enjoy the outdoors once again.
To avoid irritating symptoms from acting up, you can plan ahead before engaging in an outdoor activity. By taking a few preemptive precautions, runners, hikers, gardeners, and outdoor junkies with seasonal allergies can freely pursue their passions.
According to an allergist, Dr. Sarita Patil “The keys are to be smart about allergen exposures and minimize them as much as possible.”
So, here are some tips on how outdoor fans can stay active during allergy season.
1. Know what you’re allergic to
People who have allergic rhinitis may be sensitive to distinct types of pollen, from grass, trees, or weeds. Trees release pollen from late winter into spring or early summer. Grass usually pollinates next, in late spring going into early summer.
Weeds, like ragweed, pollinate in late summer and early fall. These are the most common plants that produce huge quantities of pollen. Their grains are so light that can be carried by the wind for thousands of miles.
2. Be aware of the pollen counts
Since the pollen counts can be pretty accurate, they’ve become a part of weather forecast these days. So, make sure that you keep an eye on them. Pollen levels are lower on rainy, cloudy, and windless days, and higher on windy and dry days. So, the clouds and the rain are your friends if you want to enjoy an outdoor activity.
3. Know your allergen by sight
If you want to limit exposure, make sure that you know the look of the plants you’re allergic to. It’s good to know what type of plants, vegetation, and trees are found in the area you’re heading into.
You can decide to either take some non-sedating antihistamine or pick another place to go.
4. Time the outdoor activity
It’s a good idea to pick the time of day to go out, when the plants don’t pollinate. The peak pollination hours for grasses are in the early morning to afternoon. So, if you want to exercise or garden, try to avoid these times of the day. If you’re allergic to tree pollen, dawn and dusk are the worst times for you.
5. Use a protection
There are many ways to protect yourself outdoors from allergens. For example, cyclists can wear sunglasses that will protect them from pollen entering their eyes. Gardeners should avoid touching their faces and eyes with their hands. It’s also important to know the area you’re going into so that you can prevent getting attacked by allergens.
6. Keep pollens away
During allergy season, try to keep your home and car windows closed as much as possible. Make sure that when you return from an outdoor activity, you take a shower to wash the pollen off your hair and skin.
Also, remove your shoes and change your clothes and wash them after getting home. Otherwise, you’ll carry and spread the pollen inside your house. To help remove pollen, try rinsing your nose with saline nasal sprays, and use some lubricating eye drops for your eyes.
7. Consult with an expert
If you’re susceptible to seasonal allergies, it’s time to develop a good plan on how to fight them. Visit your allergist and develop a treatment plan that will be right for you, your lifestyle, symptoms, add sensitivities.
Follow the tips above and have a great time on your next outdoor adventure. I know how it feels to be outdoors and not have a wonderful time because of allergies.
Make sure that you fight the battle, prepare, and don’t let allergies ruin your experience.
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