How to Combat Your Allergies This Season

Until I moved to Davis, I didn’t know I was allergic to pollen. Unfortunately, the allergies hit me as soon as Spring Quarter began. At first I thought I was sick, but as the weeks went by and my nose kept running I knew something else was wrong. Last year I completely mishandled my symptoms and ended up spending the majority of the quarter feeling pretty bad. This year, I went into Spring Quarter with an artillery of knowledge and medication that I would like to share with anyone else experiencing true allergy season for the first time.

1. Close your windows.

I know that the weather is way warmer, and a cool breeze seems like a cheaper alternative to running a fan. However, leaving a window open at night invites pollen and other allergens into your home, making it hard to get a good night’s sleep. Fun fact: last year, I split my lip by sleeping with the window open. I was so congested that I fell asleep with my mouth open, and my lips got so chapped and swollen that my top lip cracked.

2. Take allergy medicine every morning – and keep some with you.

In Spring Quarter, I begin every day by eating a full meal and taking a Zyrtec-D. Eating a full breakfast is really important, since allergies seriously affect my energy levels. I’ve found that Claritin doesn’t help my symptoms in the slightest, nor does Allegra or regular Zyrtec. If I’m starting to feel icky throughout the day, I’ll take a couple of DayQuils to ease up my congestion for work and/or class.

3. Wear sunglasses.

Biking straight into the pollen-filled wind immediately dries out my eyes, leaving them stinging, irritated, and extremely itchy. Rubbing my itchy eyes feels oh so good… that is, until I take my hands away, leaving behind a trail of redness and regret. Wearing sunglasses while riding to class makes a significant difference. Well, that and eye drops.

4. Stay hydrated.

The importance of hydration is well-known, but it cannot be stressed enough! Drinking enough water throughout the day can help keep a scratchy throat calm, as well as energize your body and leave you feeling overall more revitalized.

5. Get enough sleep.

Your body cannot recover from a day’s worth of activities if it does not get enough sleep! One of the hardest lessons I learned after my first year at UC Davis was that prioritizing my health was more important than prioritizing my classwork. Some days, I just need to rest – that way, I can approach difficult classes and assignments with a fresh mindset and a full battery. This lesson is especially relevant during allergy season, where I may not be sick-sick, but I am experiencing symptoms that leave me feeling droopy and wiped out.

Hopefully these tips are helpful to alleviate some of the discomfort that comes with allergy season. Keep your chin up and a box of tissues nearby – spring has sprung!