Hey Allergies

Author: labambola / photo on flickr
Photo credit: labambola / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Even though fall 2014 doesn’t start until September 23, let’s be realistic, Labor Day weekend marked the unofficial start of fall. I’m totally fine with that; fall is one of my favorite seasons followed by the worst season. But we’ll focus on the positive… well kind of.

You see this particular season is a very beautiful one, especially here in Indiana, with the leaves changing and the crisp cooler temperatures…except for one thing. Allergies.

Fall is the absolute worst month for my allergies and when we had a terrible spring, I can only imagine how bad this fall is going to be. But there is no sense in suffering, so if you find yourself waking up with swollen itchy eyes, scratchy throat and a runny nose that’s not from a cold, here are some things I’ve being doing over the years to get through this intense allergy season in one piece.

Decongestant Allergy Medicine

Decongestants are behind the counter at the pharmacy, they can get a little pricey, but might just be your new best friend and you’ll only use it for a few weeks at most. Decongestants are one of the only things that can really knock out some of the worst allergy symptoms…. at least for me.

I’m more of a Claratin D (or generic Claratin) kind of person. But there are other allergy meds on the market such as Zyrtec or Allegra. If you try one and it doesn’t work for you, try another. Find your Claratin.

Also, it’s important to buy the 24 hour version. If you are really riding the struggle bus and prefer the 12 hour, buy a small package of the 12 hour version just to give you a jumpstart. But then switch to the 24 hour so you don’t have to worry about taking it throughout the day.

Now there’s one more thing and this is very important. Once you start taking your allergy medicine, my doctor told me not to take the decongestants for more than two or three weeks. So once you take that time to reign things in, switch to the over-the-counter antihistamine and you can take that all season long. I will be taking it daily. My husband has tried and really likes Nasacort, which is over the counter.

So whether it’s pills or a spray, if your allergies are bad, talk to your doctor and figure out something to take. There is absolutely no sense in walking through the next couple months miserable.

Keep Your Bed Clean

Over time your mattress and sheets gets filled with dust and all kinds of other allergens, especially if you have pets. Well news flash: You’re sleeping in that. It’s in your face. It’s all over you.

According to an interesting CNN article about how often to wash anything, they advise to wash them once a week. When you clean your sheets, wipe down your bed frame as well to clear out the dust.

Another thing the article mentions is to clean your actual mattress every six months, starting by vacuuming it.

“Then, remove stains by wiping down the surface with a cloth lightly dampened with cold water and a small amount of upholstery shampoo,” the article said, adding to be cautious and not soak the mattress which can create mold and damage padding.

Feel like going above and beyond? Purchase allergy free bedding. This Good Housekeeping article covers the different types which can also make a big difference.

Around the House

It’s obvious but vacuum and dust regularly and by regularly shoot for at least once a week. Also be sure to change your air filter once a month. ENERGY STAR says you can get away with three months tops, but if you are trying to help your allergies, stick with once a month during your peak season.

Last, try to avoid opening your windows. I know it’s not fun at all, especially when the temperatures are perfect, but if you’re in your worst allergy season, an allergy specialist told me to keep them closed.

These are just a few things I know about or do. Is this allergy season already bad for you? How are you coping? 

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