If you just stay inside you’ll miss summer in Seattle and there are few things more enjoyable in life, so here are some alternatives.
It’s allergy season – the time of year when many sufferers would happily give up their noses to end their discomfort. Smelling is overrated. But what do you do about your watery eyes? You can’t keep them closed until August. What about your itchy ears? Maybe you should just stay inside and keep your doors closed until further notice.
But we all know that if you stay inside you’ll miss summer in Seattle and there are few things more enjoyable in life. So, let’s try a different approach. Here are a few ways to manage your seasonal allergies while keeping your eyes open and your face intact.
Prepare yourself. Flowers and trees bloom at different times of year. So allergy season starts, peaks, and ends at different times for people. Pay attention to what drives your nose nuts and then be ready for the upcoming season. Don’t be fooled by the rain because allergies can start when the first cherry blossoms pop on the trees, and in most years that’s in late February (snif, snif).
Get a jump on your allergy season. “If you know your allergy season is coming soon,” says Francis Yambao the resident pharmacist at Bartell Drugs, “you can start preventing the symptoms by taking medication early.”
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Plan ahead to avoid problems. “Pollen counts are usually higher in the morning,” Christina Schwartz, the clinical programs manager and pharmacist at Bartell Drugs, says, “so sometimes staying indoors in the morning can help. Windy days are also good times to stay inside.”
Keep these tips in mind and monitor the pollen forecast like you watch the weather. Go to weather.com or to pollen.com and plan your activities and remedies in advance. You want to take a bike ride on Saturday in the sunshine when the grasses are in bloom? Fine, just make sure you take your medication well in advance – maybe even the night before.
Find the right medication. “There are treatments available for all severities of seasonal allergies,” Schwartz says. “You don’t need to buy half the aisle to find the best product for you. Ask your pharmacist, we’re a wealth of knowledge and can help guide you to find the right solution.”
Sometimes over-the-counter remedies aren’t enough and now, pharmacists at 27 Bartell Drugs locations that offer Minor Medical Care or Care Clinics, can prescribe stronger seasonal allergy medication and other medications for mild ailments.
Stay inside. While it’s not the right option all the time or even most of the time, it is sometimes a good alternative. Make sure you’ve replaced your house fan filter in the last year, keep your windows closed and your air conditioning going, and give your body a break. Recharge and relieve your symptoms when you’re at home and taking a break from the sun.
Try an alternative. A study from the Annals of Internal Medicine found that people who were suffering from seasonal allergies and treated with antihistamines and acupuncture felt better and took less medication than those who were treated with antihistamines alone.
A qualified naturopath can provide vitamin support to address underlying issues and help reduce histamine reactions that cause the itchy eyes and the runny nose. Maybe with a few visits you can convince your immune system to stop being outraged by every speck of pollen.
If you try these tricks, maybe you’ll like being outside this summer. Maybe you’ll enjoy a spring morning or a windy day. And maybe, you’ll even enjoy the smell of a flower without any sneezing, sniffing, or desire to rub the nose right off your face.
Bartell Drugs’ team of health care professionals are here to help you live a PNW summer to the fullest. Speak to a pharmacist about the right medicine to fit your symptoms, or visit one of their 15 CareClinics for walk-in allergy care.