May 10, 2022

How to cope with hay fever

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5 hay fever treatment tips for preventing and treating allergy symptoms.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America measures metro areas for pollen scores, allergy medicine use and number of allergists per person. While pollen load does not directly relate to the number of people with allergies, the South does have a longer growing season. The foundation lists Nashville, Tennessee, 60th on its list of the top 100 U.S. cities for allergy challenges, describing the city as “average” in its scores for pollen counts, allergy medicine use and number of allergists (doctors specializing in treating allergies) per person.

Seasonal allergies result from both exposure to allergens and your genes. Having one parent with allergies gives you about a 50-50 chance of also having allergies. The risk percentage goes even higher if both parents have allergies.

Tips for hay fever treatment

Before accepting seasonal allergy symptoms like itchy eyes and sneezing, try these five tips for hay fever treatment.

1. Stay inside when pollen counts are high.

If you’re wondering how to relieve hay fever symptoms, one of the best things you can do is avoid pollen altogether. Keep the windows closed and try pollen-rated filters for your home’s heating and air system. See national pollen count maps to stay informed.

2. If you go outside, change your clothes when you get back inside.

Wear a mask if you’re kicking up a lot of pollen in the yard when mowing or gardening. You should also bathe and wash your hair before bed.

3. Try over-the-counter hay fever treatments or prescription medicines.

You may find relief with nasal corticosteroid sprays. Start them early because steroid sprays can take days or up to two weeks to begin relieving symptoms. Antihistamines also work best if you time them before seasonal allergy symptoms are likely to occur. The FDA approved a 24-hour allergy tablet and liquid for over-the-counter use for hay fever. If you have questions about these hay fever medicines, read and follow the directions and talk to your doctor.

4. Try a saline nasal rinse.

One easy treatment for hay fever is a saline rinse. You may find relief with simple home remedies for hay fever, like salt water rinse bottles or nasal irrigators from the drug store.

5. Visit your doctor or an allergist if you haven’t found relief.

An allergist can identify your specific allergy triggers. Immunotherapy, often called allergy shots, will gradually increase your ability to tolerate allergens. You’ll be treating the cause and not just controlling the symptoms.

allergy and sinus

Considering allergy shots or getting tested for allergies? Visit the Vanderbilt Asthma, Sinus and Allergy Program for an evaluation and the most up-to-date treatment recommendations. Call 615-936-2727 for an appointment.

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