Allergies! May Safety Tip

By Alexis Eades

April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers bring allergies to many people. Symptoms of allergies may include sneezing, which can be dangerous when operating heavy machinery or driving, headaches and congestion, which may be distracting from following safety protocols or doing your best work.

If you’re suffering from seasonal allergies this spring, we have some advice for you from the Mayo Clinic.

Reduce Your Exposure When Possible

Check for pollen forecasts and current pollen levels, and Mayo Clinic suggests that when you see pollen is high…

  • Close your doors and windows if possible.
  • Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest. Plan instead to go outside right after the rain, which clears the air.
  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens to people who don’t suffer from allergies.
  • Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair and try not to hang your laundry outside since pollen can stick to it.

Clean Your Indoor Air

The Mayo Clinic says… 

  • Try using air conditioning in your house and car.
  • If you have forced air heating or air conditioning in your house, try high-efficiency filters and follow regular maintenance schedules.
  • You can use a dehumidifier, especially on those sticky days.
  • You can also use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom and clean your floors with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.

Allergy Remedies

The Mayo Clinic suggests… 

  • If high pollen counts are forecasted, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.
  • Oral antihistamines may help relieve sneezing, itching, a stuffy or runny nose, and watery eyes. Examples of oral antihistamines include cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy), fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy) and loratadine (Claritin, Alavert).
  • Cromolyn sodium or corticosteroid nasal sprays can also improve nasal symptoms for many people, as can oral decongestants like Sudafed.
  • You can also rinse your sinuses to flush out mucus and allergens in your nasal passageway.

Talk to your doctor if you need a more intensive solution or if you have any questions or concerns.

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