woman sneezing and a spring day is depicted inside the sneeze

ACHOO! Spring has Sprung!

Last night as I was getting ready for bed I felt a tickle in my nose. The next thing I knew I had sneezed ten times in a row.  As I was recovering from my post sneeze stupor it hit me- spring is on the way. In the past, a sneeze here and there was not a big deal to me.  But since moving to the midwest going on two years ago from Southern California, I have developed what seems to be seasonal allergies.  It has definitely been a learning process for me to figure out what specifically was triggering my allergy (and asthma) symptoms and how to manage them.  Here are some tips that have helped me:

Watch the weather

One thing I have learned from living in the midwest is that the saying “if you don’t like the weather wait 15 minutes” is so true!  I find myself checking the weather both ahead of time and even throughout the day if volatile weather is expected. Also be checking the pollen counts and air quality.  There are many different phone apps that track the pollen, air quality and weather patterns.

Keep track

It is a good idea to track your symptoms as well as pollen counts, air quality, and whether to see if any trends emerge.  For me, at first, I had no idea why I all of a sudden had watery, itchy eyes and a bad case of the sniffles.  It wasn’t until I started paying closer attention and keeping a diary of my symptoms as well as allergens that I was able to pinpoint which ones were making me have more symptoms.

Update your action plan

Asthma action plans are super important for all asthmatics to have. They tell you what your regular daily medications are, when and how much to take when to add any additional meds if your asthma starts to flare and also when to call your doctor and/or seek emergency medical care.  If your allergies are seasonal, be sure to have your doctor add in any & all additional allergy medicines as well to your action plan.

Avoid Exposure

This one is often times usually easier said than done. When the pollen counts are really high and/or the air quality is poor staying inside is the safest bet.  If you must go out, try to limit your time outdoors and wear a mask if you are able.  There are many different types of masks that can be purchased both online and in some stores.  This will help at least partially prevent inhaling excess pollens and filter out poor air quality.

These are only a few tips for being prepared for the spring allergy season. As someone who is still relatively new to allergies myself, I would love to hear them!  And here’s to an uneventful allergy season for all of us!

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