Spring is here, which means warmer weather, longer days -- and pollen. If you’re one of the 50 million Americans suffering from nasal allergies, spring may make you want to cover up and hibernate, instead of shedding your winter garb and basking in the sunshine. While allergy symptoms may be worse for you during this time of year, our Dr. Yeung here at Houston Sinus Surgery offers some tips that might help minimize the effects of your seasonal allergies.
1. Know your pollen counts
Pollen may be responsible for the propagation of plants and flowers, but if you suffer from seasonal allergies, pollen does nothing but aggravate your symptoms. Pollen counts vary throughout the year and may be highest in the spring.
Knowing your local pollen count gives you an upper hand on limiting your exposure. You can get pollen count numbers in Houston from your local news, radio station, or newspaper. The National Allergy Bureau is also a good source for pollen count for those living in Houston and other parts of the country.
When counts are high, you may want to spend more time inside, especially during the early morning hours when pollen is at its peak level. And when inside, you can minimize the influx of pollen by keeping your windows closed and using fans or air conditioning to keep things cool.
2. Spring clean for allergies
You may already know that dusting and regular vacuuming is essential for reducing allergens in your home, but there are additional steps you can take to help keep pollen and other seasonal allergen counts low, including:
- Use high-efficiency filters on your air conditioning and heating system
- Add a dehumidifier to keep air dry
- Clean the carpet and floors with a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air filter
- Invest in a portable high-efficiency particulate air filter to use in your bedroom while sleeping
3. Keep the pollen outside
You can’t avoid going outside for an entire season, but you can keep the pollen out of your house to minimize allergy symptoms while you’re relaxing at home. In addition to keeping your windows closed and air filters clean, keep yourself clean, too, by changing and washing your clothes as soon as get home. This is especially important if you spend a lot of time outside. Taking a shower to wash the pollen and other allergens off your skin and hair also helps.
4. Start your allergy medicine sooner
If you know your allergies are going to hit hard as spring approaches, you can preempt the strike by starting your medicine up to two weeks before allergy season hits. If you’re not sure when to start your medication, or which one to take, Dr. Yeung can help. Changing your meds or adding a new kind may also be helpful during the height of allergy season.
5. Consider specialized treatment for relief
If the congestion, headaches, post-nasal drip, and difficulty breathing are too much to bear, Dr. Yeung offers functional endoscopic sinus surgery that might relieve your symptoms. This procedure opens your nasal passages and sinus cavity to improve drainage and function.
As the ear, nose, and throat specialist in Houston, Dr. Yeung can also evaluate and offer treatment options to relieve the congestion, sinus headaches, and post nasal drip that often accompany your springtime allergies. If you’re having a difficult time managing your seasonal allergies and would like to know all your options, call Houston Sinus Surgery or book an appointment online.