No doubt about it: Summer is a beautiful season in Utah, when the state’s native grasses and beautiful wildflowers bloom in profusion. All that blooming means summer is also a time of high pollen counts — and if you suffer from seasonal allergies, that means plenty of sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and other unpleasant symptoms.
At ENT Specialists, we offer seasonal allergy treatments focused on each person’s unique triggers and symptoms, for long-term meaningful relief that can have you feeling better in no time. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, here are a few things you can do to minimize your symptoms and still enjoy Utah’s natural beauty.
#1: Know your triggers
Most seasonal allergies are caused by pollen and spores released by flowers, grasses, trees, and fungi. To keep these outdoor triggers under control:
- Close windows and use air conditioning instead
- Shower and change clothes after being outdoors
- Leave mowing, trimming, and weeding to someone else
- If you must work outdoors, wear a mask
- Use a dryer instead of a clothesline
Pollen travels best on dry, windy days, while rain can help clear the air of tiny pollen particles. Try to avoid being outdoors if the weather is especially hot and dry.
#2: Keep track of the local pollen count
Pollen levels can — and usually do — vary each day. Before heading out, check your local pollen counts for the area where you’ll be spending most of your time outside.
You can find a pollen count on the Weather Channel’s website or you can download an app for your phone. The latter lets you check pollen counts for various areas, depending on where your travels take you.
If you must be outdoors on a day when pollen is high, consider taking your allergy medicine before going out to get a “head start” on your symptoms. Also avoid going out in the early morning, when pollen counts tend to be higher.
#3: Control indoor allergens
Seasonal allergy symptoms might be worse outdoors, but they can bother you indoors, too. To keep indoor triggers under control:
- Change your air conditioning filter regularly
- Vacuum regularly using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter
- Consider putting a portable air filter in your bedroom
- Change bedding frequently
- Use a dehumidifier to prevent airborne mold spores
It bears repeating: Just having a HEPA filter for your vacuum or HVAC system won’t do you any good unless you change those filters on a regular basis. A dirty filter can’t remove pollen particles, plus it makes your appliance work harder.
#4: Try over-the-counter medicines
Your drugstore has a variety of allergy medicines, and most fall into one of these types:
- Decongestants to relieve nasal stuffiness and sneezing
- Antihistamines to control sneezing, wheezing, and itchy or watery eyes
- Nasal sprays to clear out nasal passages
- Medications that combine decongestants and antihistamines
It’s very important to take over-the-counter medications as directed. Avoid the temptation to overuse them when your symptoms are especially bad. Overuse can lead to serious side effects, as well as making the medication less effective over time.
#5: Make an appointment
Sometimes, it can seem like no matter what you do, your symptoms just won’t go away. That’s when our team can help.
We can tailor an allergy relief plan just for you, with prescription medications and other therapies aimed at helping you find real, meaningful symptom relief. We also offer immunotherapy to help our patients build up tolerance to allergens over time.
Don’t let seasonal allergy symptoms ruin your summer. We can help. To learn how, call our offices in Salt Lake City, Murray, Draper, Tooele, and West Jordan, Utah, or book an appointment online today.