It’s that time of year… Are you a sufferer? Springtime can be such a wonderful time of year.  As I mentioned last week, it definitely lifts my spirits.  On the flip side, it can also be a very aggravating time of year for many (apparently nearly half of the population).  Why?  Well, if you’re a sufferer of seasonal allergies, you are more than familiar with the culprit!

I had no idea what allergies were, until my college years.  Sure, I spent my growing up years listening to my mom sneeze and talk about hay fever (whatever the heck that was), but I never had firsthand experience.  However, I will NEVER forget my first experience with allergies.  I thought I was going to die!  (Yes, I was a dramatic senior in college, so everything bad was/had to be “the worst”.)  I woke up one spring day, having slept with my apartment window open.  I thought that somehow overnight a cold that I had no ideas was brewing had rendered its ugly head.  Days, more like weeks later, this ugly cold was still hanging on, only it was like no other cold I’d ever had.  I wanted to scratch my eyes out, they were constantly watering, the sneezing was unbearable.  When I’d walk past a property on campus where they were mowing the lawn, this cold seemed to grow in to some scary monster!  What on Earth was going on?!?  After a visit to the health center (which we called the “death center”… See, I told you I was going to die – I was willingly going there!), I found that my dear friend “the cold” was in fact a dear friend, compared to what I found to be my new worst enemy – seasonal allergies.  UGH!

Years later, I still suffer.  I, like many other allergy sufferers, spend a great deal of money every year trying to find the right medicine.  What works one year seems to fail me the following year.  What once was my miracle drug seems to be a waste of umpteen dollars the next season.  I have, however, found some rules to live by when it comes to allergy season.  In the interest of staying as “well” as possible while suffering, here are some things to help minimize (even if it’s just a little bit) those symptoms:

  • Keep your windows closed and use the air conditioning.  It may be more costly, but will keep the pollinated air out of your home.  Apparently, most pollen is release between early and mid-morning, so this is a key time to employ this first rule.
  • Plan indoor activities for the days the pollen count is higher.  Sure, fresh air is good, but not if it’s going to ruin your time outside with your constant sneezing.
  • Clean your house/dust more often.  Try to find products that actually help pick up the dust vs. those that just seem to push it around.
  • Wash your sheets more often and in hot water.  Many of us go to bed after being outside for a few/several hours.  Our hair attracts pollen, our head lies on our pillow, our nose hits the pillow when we roll over…. You see where this one’s going!
  • Shower before bed.  This can help eliminate some of what I just explained above.
  • Stay away when your grass is being cut/don’t cut your own grass.  This one makes me more thankful than usual for my husband because we just can’t afford to pay someone to do this chore and he doesn’t have allergies.  WIN:WIN… (Meaning I get to go shopping – indoors in the air conditioning.)
  • While I drive to the mall, even though I’d like to get fresh air and my daughter constantly asks to roll down the windows…. I keep my windows closed.

Hope some of these ideas help you out this allergy season.  Looks to have an early start, but let’s hope that means an early finish, as well.  Fingers crossed!  Ahhh-chooo and God bless you.  🙂

Carri Nelsen of Gold’s Gym in Shrewsbury.

Got questions for Carri?  E-mail them to

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