This post is produced in collaboration with CVS Phamacy.
It’s May and it’s 80 degrees in New Jersey. After last week’s extensive rainfall, all of a sudden my surroundings are filled with greenery – green leaves on the trees, green grass on the lawn, green bushes in my backyard and yes, yes, yes, those pesky green weeds are cropping up everywhere. Colorful tulips, flowers and blossoms are in full bloom too. My daily routine now includes mindful walks around my complex, oohing and ahhing over the earth’s rebirth as it comes out from hibernation.
I love the spring, except for when I come back inside with pollen all over my clothing and sneakers. Usually my eyes get watery and I begin to …
Sniff, sniff, sniff.
Cough, cough, cough.
Sneeze, sneeze, sneeze.
And my nose starts to run, run, run.
According to the experts at CVS Pharmacy: “Allergies are caused by allergic sensitivity to pollens from trees, grasses or weeds, or airborne mold spores.” From this description, it sounds like it is difficult to avoid allergies if you enjoy being outdoors as much as I do.
Lucky for me, I’m proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy for their 2017 influencer relations program.* I’ll be highlighting their offerings in a series of blog and social media posts throughout the year. They likely reached out to me because my boyfriend L and I frequently spend date nights at the local CVS near my condo on the corner at the Jersey shore. You can find us there most Saturday evenings in the summer. We get our dark chocolate bars there when we run out of sweets. We get our sunscreen and other toiletries there as well. And since I don’t have cable television at the shore, we go there to rent DVD movies at the RedBox outside the store. We’re both big fans of our super duper CVS.
Staying Healthy During Spring Allergy Season
So you can see why I reached out to my friends at CVS Pharmacy when I was seeking tips and tricks on how to stay healthy and happy during the spring allergy season. Always there to rely on, here’s what they said:
♥ Avoid being outdoors when pollen counts are high
♥ Change clothes after being outside
♥ Don’t bring clothes and shoes into the area where you sleep
♥ Keep windows closed and run the air conditioner, even when it is mild
♥ Dust and vacuum regularly
A Pharmacist Can Help Figure It Out
If you’re not sure which antihistamines, nasal sprays, or eye drops will relieve your symptoms, the CVS pharmacist is another resource to talk to for advice. With literally hundreds of choices of over-the-counter medications in the “allergy” aisle — non-drowsy, for day, for evening, original strength, extra strength, extra extra strength, sprays, pills, cough syrups, lozenges, nose strips and even allergy relief pops (which are for kids but look tempting for adults) — I find it useful to ask the pharmacist when I’m trying to select the best product for my ailment.
In addition, the team at CVS noted that local MinuteClinics offer consultations regarding seasonal allergies. Their nurse practitioners can determine a personalized treatment plan and can do allergy testing for more severe symptoms. Of course, if you have an illness that requires more specific medical attention, I recommend you seek out your doctor for care.
Aging And Where You Live Impact Allergies
The AARP Bulletin reports that “An allergy develops when your immune system goes haywire in reaction to a foreign substance, such as grass, pollen or pet hair. As you age, immunity naturally begins to wane, and some people who have suffered for years may find that they can breathe more easily when spring rolls around. But occasionally people develop an allergy later in life.
Raymond Slavin, professor emeritus of internal medicine at St. Louis University and an expert on allergies in older adults, recalls one 60-year-old patient who developed an allergy when he started changing the cat litter box. Something similar can happen if you relocate to another part of the country with, say, heavy ragweed levels. In both cases, the new, high exposure to the allergen is what sets off symptoms.”
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the following are the five best and worst cities to live in if you have spring allergies:
BEST: Daytona, FL; Denver, CO; Provo, UT; San Diego, CA; Palm Bay, FL.
WORST: Jackson, MS; Memphis, TN; Syracuse, NY; Louisville, KY; McAllen, TX.
While I don’t see New Jersey on the list, I’m still keeping my box of tissues handy. As a yoga instructor I find that a yoga and meditation practice can help with allergies. Try a few healing asanas to help you with your allergies, an inversion like legs up the wall, or nasal breathing techniques such as Nadi Shodhana might help. Whatever you do, relax and enjoy the spring and don’t let your allergies get the best of you.
* Disclosure: I’m proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy for their 2017 influencer relations program. All opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.