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Palliser Primary Care Network

Family physicians and health professionals serving southern Alberta

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Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, can cast a shadow over the joys of spring and fall. Fortunately, there are practical ways to manage seasonal allergies and enjoy the changing seasons more comfortably (3).

  1. Stay Informed: Understanding the specific allergens causing your symptoms is the first step in management. Local weather forecasts often include pollen counts, helping you plan for high pollen days (4).
  2. Minimize Outdoor Exposure: On days when pollen counts are high, consider staying indoors during peak hours, typically mid-morning and early evening. If you must go outside, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and a hat to prevent pollen from settling in your hair (3).
  3. Create an Indoor Sanctuary: Keeping windows closed at home and in your car can significantly reduce exposure to airborne allergens. Use air purifiers with HEPA filters to help trap pollen particles (3).
  4. Regularly Clean Living Spaces: Dust, vacuum, and mop frequently to minimize indoor allergens. Wash bedding in hot water to remove any lingering allergens (1).
  5. Nasal Cleaning: Using neti pots or nasal sprays to rinse your nose can help alleviate congestion and remove irritants. Always use distilled or sterile water to avoid introducing additional allergens (3).
  6. Medication: Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about over-the-counter medications to provide relief from allergy symptoms (2).
  7. Allergen-Proof Your Home: Consider buying allergen-proof pillow and mattress covers to create a barrier against dust mites. Using high-efficiency air filters in your heating and cooling systems can further reduce the circulation of allergens within your home (1).
  8. Natural Remedies: Certain natural remedies, such as butterbur, quercetin, and local honey, have been suggested to alleviate allergy symptoms.
  9. Allergy Shots: For persistent and severe allergies, allergen immunotherapy, commonly known as allergy shots, can be considered (2).

By using these strategies, individuals suffering from seasonal allergies can significantly reduce their symptoms and reclaim enjoyment during these vibrant times of the year. Remember, it’s crucial to change your approach based on personal triggers and consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice. (3).

 

Sources

  1. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI)- Dykewicz et al. Treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. An evidence-based focused 2017 guideline update.
  2. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 2024. Allergy Information. https://aafa.org/allergies/
  3. Mayo Clinic, 2024. Allergies. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/allergies/symptoms-causes/syc-20351497
  4. Health Partners, 2024. How to treat and relieve seasonal allergies in 5 steps. https://www.healthpartners.com/blog/how-to-treat-and-relieve-seasonal-allergies/

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