Sunday, 7 April 2013

Surviving the Spring Allergy Season

For those who have seasonal allergic rhinitis, also known as Hay Fever, you know spring is here through your nose. Increased sneezing,  stuffy nose, runny nose, itchy eyes and post-nasal drip as outdoor allergens like pollen, weeds, grass and spores fill the air. Here in Singapore where climate is warm and humid all year round with no seasonal change, I believe allergy to outdoor allergens is less common. I think its a pain when spring is here and its time to venture outdoors but yet one is suffering from these outdoor allergens. And to make things worse, USA Daily reported that this year's allergy spring season may be longer and stronger due to global warming. This is something that is beyond our control. But what is within our control is to take appropriate steps to keep the allergy in control as much as possible. Here's some survival tips I have gathered:

 -Check when (and where) pollen count is highest. 
You can use this handy tool located at the sidebar on the right here for pollen forecast. Alternatively, you can download the allergy alert application into your handphone here.

-When is pollen count the highest? In the early morning.
Avoid outdoor activities when pollen count is highest. Close doors and windows if possible and switch to air-conditioning. Wear a good mask if you have to go out.

-If you have to engage in outdoor activities for extended period of time, take antihistamine at least an hour before you step out. My experience is it takes an hour or more for the effect to kick in.

-Take a shower after you have spent time outdoors as you are covered with allergens from head to toe. Last thing you want is polluting your house with these allergens.

-Keep the windows shut if you are driving.

-Don't hang your laundry out to dry.

-If you are already on allergy health supplements like Quercetin, increase the dosage during the spring season.

-Increase frequency of saline nasal rinse or spray.