If you can avoid or reduce your exposure to things that trigger or worsen your allergy symptoms, you will experience much greater relief. It can also help to maximize the relief you get from any allergy medications you're using.
Here are several ways to reduce your exposure to pollen and get more allergy relief:
1. DO keep windows closed during pollen season, including your car – use air conditioning instead.
2. DO use a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter to reduce pollen and other allergens and irritants in your home, such as dust, mould, and smoke.
3. DON'T go outdoors on dry, windy days, and early morning (between 5 and 10 am), when pollen counts are highest. Plan outdoors activities for later in the day, when pollen counts are lower.
4. DO wear glasses or sunglasses to minimize pollen getting into your eyes.
5. DON'T hang out clothes to dry on the clothesline, since pollen tends to collect on them, causing you to bring them inside.
6. DO change your clothes and shower once you come home to avoid spreading pollen indoors.
7. DO try to eliminate allergens from your home where possible. Do not allow smoking within the home, minimize dust and eliminate pets.
8. DON'T take your antihistamines sporadically when symptoms are worst. Antihistamines work by preventing the release of histamine and its resultant symptoms. They are not as effective if taken after histamine is already present in the body. Therefore, taking them regularly during throughout the season will provide you with maximum relief.
9. DO take your antihistamines well before you head outdoors – just like sunscreen – to give them a chance to work. It's easier to prevent symptoms than to stop them.
You can even try out your knowledge with their allergy wellness quiz: do you know the difference between a cold or allergies?