Commonnly called “spring fever,” “rose fever,” or “hay fever,” allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the inside of the nose when it is exposed to an allergic trigger. Triggered by pollen, seasonal allergic rhinitis affects over 35 million Americans each year. Pollen is composed of tiny microscopic cells of flowering plants.
You can recognize pollen as the yellow-green powder that collects on your car or porch in the springtime and early summer. Pollen from trees and grass can travel hundreds of miles. Trees usually pollinate at the end of March and grass typically pollinates in May. Pollen is measured in grains per cubic meter and pollen counts can be found on your local news weather forecast or on the internet at: (www.aaaai.org).
Common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:
· Stuffy or runny nose.
· Dark circles under your eyes.
· Itching of the nose, throat, or roof of the mouth.
· Itching of the eyes, watery eyes, or red eyes.
If you have asthma, eczema or other allergic type diseases, your symptoms may worsen during the pollen season.
Some simple things you can do to prevent or lessen allergy symptoms:
· Keep windows closed and use air conditioning if you’re allergic to pollen. Don’t use fans since they can stir up dust. This includes when you travel in your car.
· If you have pets, keep them out of the bedroom and bathe them frequently.
· Use an air-filter or air purifier and keep the air filter clean.
· Use a dehumidifier in basements and other areas of the house where molds tend to collect.
· Keep your bathrooms well ventilated and use solutions that will kill mold.
· Do not leave your laundry sit in the washer, as it will cause mold to grow quickly. Don’t store away damp clothing and wait till they are completely dry before putting them away.
· Wash your bedding every week in hot water and use plastic covers for pillows and mattresses.
· Don’t hang clothes or linens out to dry, as pollen and molds may collect in them and can make your allergies worse.
· Do not smoke in your house.
· Don’t keep too many plants indoors.
· Wear a mask if you need to expose yourself to dust and allergens.
· Vacuum twice a week using a vacuum that has a fine filter to remove dust, allergens, and dust mites.
· When possible, choose hardwood floors instead of carpeting.
· Avoid blinds and long drapes. Replace them with window shades instead.
· Stay indoors between 5 and 10 A.M. or on hot, dry, windy days when pollen counts are generally the highest.
· After being outdoors, take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes to remove pollen that may have collected in your clothes and hair.