Gesundheit! Transitioning into spring and the seasonal allergies that follow.

It’s not a chinook, spring has officially arrived! The days are getting longer, the trees are starting to bud, and spring is in the air – and pollen too!

With many of us still working from home and new mandatory health measures limiting what we can do, warmer temperatures offer a much-needed reprieve. It’s time to get outside! However, if you suffer from seasonal allergies like 20-30% of Canadians, your escape to the outdoors may also include itchy eyes, a runny nose, sneezing and other pesky symptoms.

All areas of Canada suffer from spring allergies. Allergy season in the Lower Mainland of B.C. typically begins in February however for the rest of Canada, the season commonly runs from April to June.

Below are some tips to help provide relief for seasonal allergies:

  • At least two weeks before allergy season, start taking your preferred medication before your symptoms become severe. Once you start experiencing symptoms it becomes more difficult to manage them.
  • For nasal congestion, sneezing – an over the counter (OTC) nasal spray such as Otivin can be used for short term relief.
  • OTC eye drops such as Claritin Eye Allergy Relief can help reduce symptoms such as the itchy and watery eyes.
  • Non-sedating OTC oral antihistamines such as Claritin, Reactine, and Aerius are effective at managing the symptoms of seasonal allergies and typically do not cause drowsiness.
  • Keep pollen out of your eyes by wearing sunglasses or glasses while outside.
  • Indoors—try a HEPA air purifier to improve air quality in your home.
  • Replace your furnace filter.
  • Change the allergy filter in your air conditioning unit.
  • Eliminate dust in your home by using a damp cloth to trap and remove the particles from household surfaces.
  • Know your seasonal allergy triggers. Pollen is usually the most common culprit of outdoor seasonal allergies.
  • Keep doors and windows closed and avoid yard work, or outside exercise when pollen counts are high (usually mid-morning and early evening, but this may vary).
  • Sites like Accuweather and the Weather Network can help you determine when allergens such as pollen count are high in your location.
Speak with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any OTC medications.
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