May 1, 2024

Wellness Wednesday - Defeat Springtime Allergies

This spring and summer don’t let seasonal allergies derail the fun.

Ahh spring, my family’s favorite time of year — when tissue boxes are stocked up and allergy medicine fills the medicine cabinet (can you sense the sarcasm?). Despite its beautiful greenery and bloom, Spring is also the season of springtime allergies that so many must deal with.

Springtime Allergies 101

Spring allergies can be triggered by a variety of culprits including pollen, dust, pet dander, smoke, temperature changes, exercise and more. Oftentimes, those same triggers can unfortunately also trigger asthma exacerbations for others. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to help make this Spring season a little less miserable if you struggle with allergies and/or asthma.

Follow Medication Best Practices

Make sure to take any medications as prescribed consistently! This means that even if you’re having a day when your symptoms don’t feel as severe, still take your medicine as prescribed. Continuing to take your medicine as indicated will help to maintain and even increase the number of days without severe symptoms.

Air Quality Check

Check the outside air quality each day on your weather app. If pollen is something that triggers your allergy or asthma symptoms, it can be helpful to avoid the outdoors when pollen is high. You could also wait to go outside until later in the day — when pollen counts are typically lower.

Indoor Air Counts Too

Be mindful of your indoor air quality. Make sure you change your home’s air filter about every 3 months — or as recommended by the specific air filter brand you use. You may also find value in using an air purifier to assist with removing airborne particles.

For further information on indoor air quality, you can visit this link: What Makes Indoor Air Unhealthy? | American Lung Association

Keep Things Clean

Routinely vacuum and dust. There are many vacuum cleaners (especially “pet friendly ones”) that do a great job of removing pollen and dander within our homes!

Cleanliness extends beyond our rugs and floors. Shower before you go to bed. You’d be surprised by how much pollen can get collected in your hair and on your body—even your clothes too! Showering before bed can sometimes help alleviate that morning congestion you may feel during this season.

Important Asthma Tips

If you wrestle with asthma, try following some of these tips to keep your symptoms under control.

Avoid Triggers

Take note of any triggers that exacerbate your asthma, trying to limit exposure to them as much as possible in your day to day. Again, remember that many triggers for allergies can also bring on an asthma exacerbation.

Always carry your rescue inhaler and spacer.

Know Your Warning Signs

It is important for you and your loved ones to recognize warning signs that you are on the verge of an asthma attack (slight coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath). Make sure that you create an asthma action plan — you can also consult your doctor for assistance with this.

The CDC provides some helpful tips on this here: CDC Asthma Action Plan

When to Consult Your Provider

If your asthma symptoms are increasing to twice a week or more, it would be worthwhile to talk with your primary care provider about getting allergy tested (via blood test or skin prick) or discussing further treatments. This can help to further identify your asthma triggers and discuss your asthma action plan with your doctor to find ways to reduce/avoid asthma triggers.

Plan for Camp

Make sure that when you send your children to spring or summer camps and evens, that they AND their counselors know where their quick rescue inhaler and spacer is located. Take this from a former summer camp nurse, it is extremely important that the adults in charge of your child’s care are made aware of their asthma triggers.

No detail is too small. Inform staff of any specific signs that their asthma is acting up (coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, etc.). Educate them on your child’s asthma action plan so that they know how to proceed if something arises.

 

This spring and summer don’t let seasonal allergies derail the fun. Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, use these tips to combat springtime allergies and fight back against the pollen.

Jordyn Schwerin, RN

Authored By

Jordyn Schwerin, RN

Kinetiq Health Program Manager

As a Kinetiq Health Program Manager, Jordyn works to create customized and unique wellness solutions, aiming to improve her clients’ overall health and quality of life. Her responsibilities include collaborating with client wellness teams and hosting one-on-one client meetings to communicate and implement wellness plans based on specific needs.

Meet Jordyn