From Spring to Fall: 5 Ways to Manage Your Seasonal Allergies

Recognize the symptoms of seasonal allergies and seek treatment

Seasonal allergies can flare up in spring and fall due to countless outdoor allergens. Recognizing your symptoms is the first step toward discovering seasonal allergy treatments that work.

If you are one of the thousands of Arkansas residents affected by seasonal allergies each year, outdoor allergens from grass, weeds, trees, and other vegetation can trigger reactions in the spring and fall. The symptoms of seasonal allergies include sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, an itchy throat, coughing, and puffy eyelids. These symptoms can make it difficult to enjoy the season’s fun outdoor activities, such as fall hayrides, bonfires, and corn mazes. If you are seeking relief, the following seasonal allergy treatments and remedies can alleviate your symptoms.

1. Reduce Your Exposure to Seasonal Allergy Triggers

Check the pollen forecast for your region of Arkansas before heading outdoors. In fall, the most common allergen is ragweed, although mold spores can also be abundant if it is raining. If the pollen and mold counts are expected to be high, try to limit the amount of time you spend outside. Keep in mind that ragweed levels tend to be high during the morning, and you are more likely to be exposed to ragweed pollen when it is windy out.

2. Avoid Bringing Outdoor Allergens Into Your Home 

Run your air conditioning on warm fall days instead of using window fans that can draw allergens indoors. Keep your windows closed on days when pollen counts are high or when it is windy out, since these particles can easily come in through window screens. When you come in from outside, wipe your shoes off on a mat right away and remove them so you can avoid tracking pollen through your home. You might also want to change into a different outfit, since pollen can cling to your clothes.

3. Clean Your Home on a Regular Basis

Even if you take steps to keep pollen and other outdoor allergens out of your home, some of it can still make its way inside and trigger seasonal allergy symptoms. Whether you schedule your most thorough cleaning for spring or fall, vacuum your rugs and upholstered furniture more frequently during allergy season to remove these allergens. Run the vacuum attachment along your curtains to get rid of allergens that may have come in through windows.

4. Take Over-the-Counter Medications

The following over-the-counter medications can be purchased at your local Arkansas pharmacy to help reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies:

  • Decongestants can help you breathe more clearly by reducing nasal congestion.
  • Antihistamines can relieve sneezing, watery eyes, itchy eyes, and a runny nose. If you take antihistamines, be aware that they can cause drowsiness and must be used on a regular basis to treat seasonal allergy symptoms effectively.
  • Eye drops can relieve seasonal allergy symptoms that affect your eyes, such as itching. If over-the-counter eye drops are not effective, talk to your doctor about using prescription eye drops.
  • Nasal sprays can reduce nasal congestion associated with allergies. They often provide relief faster than oral decongestants. For the best results, you should begin using a nasal spray before allergies start and continue using it during allergy season.

5. Explore Prescription Treatment Options

If over-the-counter medications are not enough to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms, talk to your doctor about other options. You might need to explore prescription-strength seasonal allergy treatments if you work outdoors, live in an area with excessively high pollen counts, or have severe seasonal allergy symptoms. Your doctor might recommend allergy shots or taking over-the-counter medications. These treatment methods help your body build up a resistance to ragweed and other outdoor allergens that are common in Arkansas during the spring and fall.

If you have questions about the symptoms of seasonal allergies or your treatment options, contact the pharmacists at Smith-Caldwell Drug Store at 501-392-5470. No matter the season, we are always happy to help!