Allergy Attack — What Am I Doing Wrong?

In the last week or so, my allergies have kicked into overdrive. My days have been full of sneezing fits. The garbage cans are filling up with used tissues. My throat is tickling, and my eyes are watering. All the signs point to an allergy flare up!

I’ve always had trouble with allergies. It all started when I was a little kid. My brother was three and I was five when we started with scratch tests and allergy shots and all that fun stuff. I’m no stranger to what an allergy attack feels like. But I have been fortunate — I’ve grown out of some of my allergies, and others have become far less severe than they were.

This checklist will help you figure out what’s making your allergies flare up.

  1. Do you know what you are allergic to? I do. Pollen, mold, and dust mites are my big three allergens.
  2. Are you taking your medicine? I haven’t needed prescription allergy medicine in almost ten years — many of the over the counter medicines handle my problems just fine. It might be time for me to pick up some Claritin-D at the drug store.
  3. Are you limiting your exposure to allergens? Here is where my problems start, I think. It’s been a pretty mild summer here in the Pacific Northwest, and I’ve been sleeping with the windows open. That’s a great way to catch a breath of fresh air… and a nose full of pollen. I have a sneaking suspicion that something is going to seed and setting off my allergies. Ragweed is an infamous fall pollen allergy culprit. Pollen counts are often higher during the earliest part of the day (between five and ten am).
  4. Are you keeping the house clean? Carpets, upholstery, curtains, and bedding can trap dust, animal dander, and other allergens. Vacuuming frequently, changing sheets, washing curtains, and dusting can help cut down on the allergens in your environment. Guess it’s time for me to break out the vacuum cleaner and clean the filters on my fans.

My plan of attack is to start closing the windows at night, take some over-the-counter allergy medicine, and do more cleaning. If your allergies are flaring up, use this checklist to help you soothe your sneezing.