The spring and summer months are the perfect time to enjoy flowers, the sun, and everything nature has to offer. However, high concentrations of pollen can easily ruin someone’s day, especially if they experience hay fever. To get the most out of your time outside, here are some tips for managing seasonal allergies:

What is Hay Fever?

Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is a common seasonal condition with symptoms similar to the common cold. When someone struggles with hay fever, they typically will experience a runny nose, watery eyes, congestion, and a sore throat. More severe hay fever symptoms include sweating, headaches, loss of smell or taste, and itchiness around the nose, throat, and ears. Another severe symptom of hay fever is sinus pain caused by congestion. This pain will occur under the eyes, next to the bridge of the nose.

When to See a Doctor

Hay fever typically doesn’t come with an actual fever. If your temperature is high, consider speaking with your doctor.

 

For those who struggle with hay fever symptoms, it is best to contact your doctor if:

  • Your symptoms directly affect your daily life and daily activities
  • Medications do not lessen your symptoms
  • You have another condition that may worsen symptoms, like asthma, COPD, or frequent sinus infections.

Hay Fever vs. Allergies

Hay fever is a specific type of allergic reaction caused by pollen in the air. Because of this, hay fever is not related to any sort of viral infection or bacteria. Like other allergies, hay fever has no “cure” but can be managed over time. However, unlike allergies, hay fever symptoms tend to linger even after exposure to pollen, which is why it is so often mistaken for a cold.

Managing Hay Fever and its Symptoms

Most doctors recommend staying indoors as much as possible over the summer to manage hay fever and its symptoms. When inside, keep the windows and doors shut. To help keep pollen minimal inside, vacuum and dust surfaces frequently as well. For cars, a pollen filter in the air vents can help reduce pollen count while driving.

 

If outside, people who experience hay fever and pollen allergies can wear vaseline around their nostrils to trap pollen or wear a face mask to help filter the air. To prevent pollen from entering the eyes, wraparound glasses or goggles work best. After going outside, always change clothes and take a shower to wash off any excess pollen.

 

Allergy medications may help reduce hay fever symptoms as well. If you are outside frequently, consider talking to your doctor or pharmacist about allergy medication options.

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