If the itch of hayfever and floating pollen have you suffering this season (or should I say sneez-on), you're not alone. Millions of North Americans are getting out tissues and struggling with the decision of whether going for a walk outdoors is actually good for their health.
Avoiding the culprit is one solution, so roll up the car windows and keep your house windows shut. Over-the-counter antihistamines may be your best drug line of defence: they block the body's overreaction to allergens and can make the season more liveable, especially in a non-drowsy formulation. Prescription nasal steroids may reduce congestion as well.
If you're looking for some non-medicinal help, consider a small air purifier or filter, or a humidifier to keep your nasal passages moist and more resilient.
Believe it or not, spring can also be a time of sinus infections, thanks to seasonal allergies. Because your nose physiology changes over time, you may be more susceptible, when allergies cause stagnant congestion that invites an infection in the sinus cavities. The Centers of Disease Control recently introduced new guidelines for doctors suggesting alternate remedies like nasal irrigation instead of antibiotics when treating sinus infections.
There are a number of squeeze bottles and Neti pots on the market; here's a review of one such device that may help you clear your sinuses, and breathe easier. Good luck!
Controlling Seasonal Allergies. US National Institutes of Health Public Information Sheet. Accessed June 12, 2012. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/spring12/articles/spring12pg26.html