It’s 4:59pm. You’ve just clocked out, and you’re exhausted from a long day of adulting.
Maybe you’ll go find a nice restaurant with an open patio and a happy hour menu? Perhaps, it’s a good time for a run through the park. Or maybe you’ll go home and take your favorite furbaby (or human baby) for a walk.
Or MAYbe you won’t do any of those things.
Maybe you’ll cover your face, head directly to your car, run into your house, and waste a beautiful afternoon.
Pollen is, in my humble opinion, the worst part about Spring. The fine yellow crust on what, otherwise, would be the most glorious season of all. And if your luck is as good as mine, you live in a place like Atlanta where it literally rains pollen.
I grew up in South Carolina, where the pollen is pretty bad. I can still picture my Grama with a broom in hand, sweeping up pollen in the driveway. But it wasn’t until I moved 3 hours west that I succumbed to this dreaded club that no one wants to be a part of. No matter when you began to suffer from allergies, they truly, truly suck.
Through years of trial and error, Your Friendly Public Health Pharmacist has picked up some tricks to survive the golden South Carolina and Georgia Springs.
Today, I’ll share 5 of the most cheap and effective ways to make it through allergy season in one piece.
Find your perfect allergy medicine and never, ever run out of it.
There is an art to this. Different allergy medications work better for some people than others. My little brother lives by cetirizine (brand name: Zyrtec), whereas my allergy Power Ranger of choice is loratadine (brand name: Claritin). There are plenty of great allergy medicines out there to choose from, but facing a wall full of options can be overwhelming. If you’d like a complete list of allergy medications—how well they work, side effects, etc.—leave me a comment below!
That allergy medicine from number 1…? Take it BEFORE you leave the house.
I cannot stress how important this is. Most allergy medications take a few minutes to an hour to kick in. So if you’ve waited until you’ve left the house and your throat is getting scratchy, you, my friend, are behind the pollen-eight ball. (Does anyone see what I did there?)
Because we are all human, we forget things. So a backup stash might be a good idea.
As a general rule, medications should be stored somewhere cool and dry. With that being said, your car’s console or glove compartment is probably not an ideal place. BUT if you choose to leave a backup stash there, just don’t tell me about it…
Don’t leave the house.
Only slightly kidding here. If you see the pollen count on the news and still choose to go outside, may odds be ever in your favor! Ok, realistically, it’s not an option for most of us to stay inside, but whenever possible, give your eyes and sinuses a break from the pollen and find some fun indoor activities to do (Spring cleaning, anyone?).
If you do leave the house, wear sunglasses.
If you’re an allergy sufferer whose eyes get itchy-irritated-red-watery, sunglasses can be one of your best friends. When it’s raining pollen, the sunglasses keep a lot of it from getting in your eyes. Plus, you’ll look super fly. People won’t be able to tell you’ve been rubbing your eyes since the end of February.
Stock up on cough drops or mint/menthol candies.
For the throat irritation and itchiness, try some mints or candies with menthol. They’ll help you make more saliva which keeps your throat moist. Not to mention they’ll help keep you from drawing attention to yourself with obnoxious coughing fits.
These tips have been tried and true for me. And whenever I don’t follow them, I end up regretting it.
Drop a line and tell me about your allergy fighter of choice!