When the sun is out and flowers are in bloom, it is the time of the year when the cheerful weather brings a lot of smiles to many people. But for those who struggle with seasonal allergies, there is a battle waiting to happen. Repetitive sneezing, itchy eyes and runny nose are just some of the many symptoms of seasonal allergies that sufferers have to endure. Every year, millions of people face the dreaded allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever.
Allergic rhinitis affected millions of people in the U.S. in 2010, leading to over 11 million visits to the doctor's office. This condition can be infuriating, disrupting the daily routine of the many sufferers struggle with it. But fortunately, there are steps that can lessen its impact. Following are some of the best strategies at handling hay fever.
Jan Batten speaks her mind about hay fever: “Summer allergies start to pick up around May and those affected will usually get itchy and runny eyes, a runny nose and inflamed, swollen sinuses.” A nurse at British Lung Foundation Helpline, she added, “Breathing through your nose can be difficult too, and you might have a cough.”
Did you know allergies are among the leading chronic illnesses in the U.S.? According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, this recurring condition affects around 10 to 30 percent of the population. In the U.S., nearly 8 percent of people aged 18 and over struggle with allergic rhinitis.
So what must one do to prevent or reduce the likelihood of activating seasonal allergies? To start with, one must be mindful of pollen, which sets off the allergy symptoms. When spread by the wind, allergy sufferers can become exposed to pollen and cause irritation upon inhalation. Thus, it is important to know when these airborne activators are prevalent and avoid them. Pollen count is generally at its highest during the afternoon.
If one really needs to go out of the house, wearing wraparound sunglasses offers protection to the eyes, which can help minimize the irritation. To prevent these irritants from going into the sensitive areas of the nose, putting petroleum jelly in the nostrils can avert the activation of allergic symptoms. In addition, wearing a filter mask can help keep away the allergens.
Washing one's hair, changing from outdoor clothes into indoor clothes and keeping the home neat can also contribute to lessening the effect of seasonal allergies.