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How To Enjoy The Outdoors In Spite Of Your Allergies



Do you suffer from hay fever or other allergies, but still like to spend time outdoors? I know this time of year can be rough on some people, especially those of us who live in suburban or rural areas. For instance, I live in Georgia. There have been plenty of times when I have parked my car to go into someone's house and come out to find my car positively covered with pollen! If you have problems with outdoor allergies, you might think that you have to spend the entire spring and summer indoors. Lucky for you, this isn't necessarily true. Here are a few ways you can enjoy the outdoors while reducing problems from allergies.

One thing that can work well is knowing exactly what it is you are allergic to and adjusting accordingly. This is usually done by a blood or skin test in an allergist's office. Once you know which things bother you and to what degree, your doctor can make suggestions about how you can avoid them. Things such as changing which flowers you keep in your garden can help a lot. Also, many gardening or drug stores sell paper masks that can keep allergens out of your lungs.

Speaking of doctors, there are several prescription drugs that work wonders for allergies. Sprays like Nasonex might be a good alternative to pills and are usually covered by insurance. Also, many of the more common medications (Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, etc) are now available over the counter. If you don't want to use drugs or find that they don't cover everything, nasal washes such as saline, Alkalol and Neti pots are available in most drug stores.

To avoid bringing allergens from outdoors into the house, leave your shoes at the door. Since they tend to have the most contact with allergens on the ground, it's no surprise that the soles of your shoes practically collect allergens. When you come inside from spending a lot of time outside, change your clothes and put the ones you were wearing into a laundry bag. That way, you won't get anything that might have been in the air on the things you touch or sit on. If the symptoms are bothering you, take a shower right away. Also, allergen levels tend to be higher earlier in the day, so it may help to move your long walks or runs to the evening rather than the morning. Don't open the windows in the morning or leave them open all night if at all possible.

HEPA filters and air purifier machines are an excellent way to reduce the amount of allergens in the air in your home. These can be found in many general and home improvement stores. Also, you may benefit from changing the other filters (air conditioning, etc) in your home more often during allergy season more often than you would other times of the year. Try to use cleaning products (Swiffer dusters, dust-catching cloths, etc) that actually remove dirt and dust rather than just spreading it around. Keeping the floors and cloth-covered furniture vacuumed helps too.

When you're choosing a vacation, consider cruises or beach trips. This way, you are less likely to come into contact with a lot of allergen-producing plants.

As you can see, there are several ways you can enjoy the outdoors in ways that are easier on your allergies. Now all you have to do is find a way to keep your neighbor's dog out of your garden. Sorry, I can't help you there. :)


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