Cassidy Giebler, FNP-C, shares ten helpful things to know about preparing for, dealing with and treating seasonal allergies.
1. Minimize outdoor activity when pollen counts are high. Check the National Allergy Bureau website at http://www.aaaai.org/global/nab-pollen-counts.aspx for local pollen counts.
2. Take allergy medicines 30 minutes before going outside. Consult your primary care provider to discuss allergy treatment and ways to minimize symptoms
3. For severe allergy sufferers, have someone else do yard work if possible
4. Avoid mowing grass and handling yard waste such as mulch, compost, grass clippings and leaves.
5. If you must work outside, wear a filter mask to reduce exposure to allergens
6. Shower after working outside and wash all work clothes
7. Keep windows and doors closed and avoid using fans that draw air in outside air. It is best to use an air conditioner to re-circulate indoor air
8. Use high-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA) in vacuums and furnaces and change them every 1-2 years
9. Wash bedding weekly in hot water
10. Wash pets weekly and keep them off furniture and out of the bedroom. Pollen can collect on the fur of dogs or cats after being outside
Cassidy Giebler, FNP-C, specializes in family practice at Ozarks Community Hospital’s Primary Care Clinic in Springfield, MO. Cassidy received her education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and Southwest Baptist University-Mercy College of Nursing.