A number of effective seasonal allergy treatments exist today, but the key to their success is in using them correctly. Therefore, when you find yourself giving up some of your favorite spring activities because your seasonal allergies are so severe, consider giving up these five health-sabotaging habits:

  1. Waiting too long to medicate. It's often too late to get complete seasonal allergy relief once you find yourself dealing with a full-blown allergic reaction. When you experience allergies early in the season, your body can become "primed" to your allergens and may produce a more severe reaction on future exposure. So your best bet is to take your allergy medications preventatively at the very start of the season (or as soon as possible).
  2. Skipping allergy treatments or taking the wrong medicines. It's easy to forget about taking your allergy medication when you don't think you need them, or to skip doses and think it's no big deal. But this attitude can make you sabotage your allergy control efforts since many allergy medications and immunotherapy treatments need to be taken continually over the long-term to get the full effects. Also, keep in mind that not everybody responds the same way to medications. Therefore, when you try to diagnose and treat yourself, you might not make the best choices for your situation. Instead, ask your doctor to do some testing to determine exactly what's causing your symptoms.
  3. Inviting outdoor triggers in. While letting the warm fresh air into your home and your car can be appealing, open windows can pose an allergy control problem by exposing you to pollen, mold, and other seasonal allergy triggers. A better choice is to keep your windows closed and run your air conditioner instead. Also, shower after spending time outdoors and wash your clothing to remove any allergens that linger in your hair and clothes.
  4. Exercising at the wrong time. When the temperature heats up, so can the pollen count, particularly in the morning. The wind can also cause this trigger to travel great distances. That's why the best way to protect yourself is to check the pollen counts before you head outside to exercise. You can get this information from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology's National Allergy Bureau at www.aaaai.org or through your local media. When allergens are prevalent, keep your exercise contained to the gym or other indoor location. If you really prefer to exercise outside, postpone your workouts until late afternoon or evening.
  5. Sleeping with your pet. Of course you love your furry friend, but inviting him into your bedroom can really worsen your allergy symptoms. Constant exposure to allergens can worsen inflamed nasal passages and can make congestion less responsive to allergy treatments. You don't have to get rid or your dog or cat, but remove him from your sleep area. Also, bathe your animal to remove any allergens trapped in his hair.




American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. "Hay Fever Season Hits Pet Allergy Sufferers Hard." Web. 17 March 2012.

Botsford Hospital Blog. "Spring Cleaning Tips to Prevent Allergies." 15 March 2012. Web. 17 March 2010.

FoxNews.com. Allergy Season Arrives Early this Year." 6 March 2012. Web. 17 March 2012.