Seasonal allergies can be a real nuisance, especially if you live in Iowa where the weather and pollen counts can fluctuate frequently. Allergies in Iowa typically begin in the springtime when trees start to bloom and continue through the summer and fall months with grasses and weeds.

If you’re an Iowan who suffers from seasonal allergies, it’s important to prepare yourself for the coming months. Learn how you can better protect yourself during the allergy season with helpful tips from MercyOne Urgent Care.

1. Keep Track of the Pollen Count

Pollen is the main culprit behind seasonal allergies, so it’s important to know when the levels are high in your area. Watch the news or check websites such as Weather, Pollen, and AccuWeather to get the daily pollen counts in your area. This will help you know when to take extra precautions, such as staying indoors on days when pollen counts are high.

2. Stock Up on Allergy Essentials

Make sure you have all the essentials on hand, such as tissues, eye drops, nasal sprays, and any medications you may need. Having these items on hand before allergy season hits can prevent a last-minute scramble to the store. Some over-the-counter medications that may be helpful include antihistamines, decongestants, and certain nasal sprays.

3. Start Allergy-Proofing Your Home

Most people spend the majority of their time inside, so it’s important to make sure your home is allergy-friendly. Clean out air filters, vacuum regularly, consider purchasing an air purifier, and keep windows closed during peak pollen times. By doing this, you can minimize the amount of pollen that gets inside your home.

4. Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthy

Drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet can help keep your immune system strong. In addition, studies have shown that certain foods such as honey, salmon, and leafy green vegetables can help reduce inflammation in the body, which can lessen allergy symptoms. It’s also important to avoid foods that may exacerbate allergy symptoms, such as dairy products, which can increase mucus production.

5. Take Precautions When Spending Time Outdoors

If you enjoy being outside during allergy season, taking a few precautions can make a big difference. Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your face and eyes from pollen, and consider wearing a mask to filter out allergens. When you come back inside, change your clothes and wash your hands and face to remove any pollen that may have attached itself to you.

6. Speak to a Medical Professional

If you haven’t already, talk to your doctor about your allergies. They can provide treatment options such as over-the-counter medications or prescription allergy shots that could be helpful for you. Your doctor can also recommend allergy testing to determine exactly what triggers your symptoms.

Are You Experiencing Issues Related to Seasonal Allergies in Iowa?

If you have been experiencing symptoms related to seasonal allergies in Iowa, seek fast and affordable care from MercyOne. Our trained healthcare providers can diagnose your condition and help you find effective treatment. Check-in to the location nearest you to save your spot in line. Feel better faster with MercyOne Urgent Care.