Lifestyle

I'm an allergy expert – five practical steps to managing symptoms as the season hits its peak

A HEALTH expert has revealed five practical steps allergy sufferers can take to mitigate symptoms this season.

More than 19million adults and five million kids in the US suffer from seasonal allergies or hay fever, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Studies are showing that pollen seasons are getting longer and becoming more intense across the US.

Higher pollen concentrations are also likely due to the growth of trees and grass, triggered by rising carbon dioxide emissions.

“For people who have been managing seasonal allergies for a long time, they may have already noticed allergy symptoms starting earlier, lasting longer, and being more intense than even a few years ago,” said president and chief executive of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Kenneth Mendez.

The Sun has revealed five steps that millions can take to reduce their symptoms.

FIND MEDICATION THAT WORKS

Multiple over-the-counter and prescription medications can help alleviate allergy symptoms.

Nasal sprays such as Nasonex or Flonase are recommended by doctors. 

But, they may take days or weeks before they provide relief.

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Antihistamines such as Claritin, Zyrtec, or Astelin can provide immediate relief according to allergist Dr. Sandra Hong.

She told the New York Times: “If patients have tried one medication and it doesn’t seem to be working for them, they should absolutely try other types to see if they’re more effective."

SINUS BATH

Allergy sufferers that don’t want to use medication may want to try nasal irrigation.

You can use a bulb syringe and a saltwater solution if you want to try this ancient technique for yourselves.

The technique can help remove mucus and pollen from your nasal cavities.

PLAN WHEN YOU GO OUT

Those that suffer from hay fever should check the weather forecast every day.

When pollen counts are high, allergies are likely to be worse.

Pollen counts are the highest between early and mid-morning so allergy sufferers may want to exercise in the afternoon.

But, you may want to wear an N95 face mask if you're heading out in the morning.

REDUCE POLLEN

Dr. Hong warned that those who suffer from pollen allergies should avoid bringing the substance back into their home at all costs.

After being outside, you may want to change your clothes.

And, showering helps remove pollen from the body.

Air conditioning filters can capture tiny pollen particles so the expert encourages homeowners to keep them clean regularly.

IMMUNOTHERAPY

Allergy sufferers may want to consider taking immunotherapy treatments.

This involves giving gradual doses of the allergen, such as grass pollen.

It will cause people to become less sensitive to the substance over time.  

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Meanwhile, a cleaning expert has revealed six tips homeowners can take to try and beat hay fever this spring.

And, a pharmacist has revealed ways hay fever sufferers can keep symptoms at bay.

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