Ways Nurses Can Cope With Seasonal Allergies

Today I want to talk about a topic that affects many professionals in the medical field: seasonal allergies. If you're like me, you dread the spring and fall seasons when pollen, dust and mold spores are in the air. They can cause sneezing, itching, watery eyes, runny nose and congestion. Not fun at all, especially when you have to work long shifts and take care of patients.

So how can we cope with seasonal allergies while at work? Here are some tips that I've found useful over the years:

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Take antihistamines.png

Antihistamines are medications that block the effects of histamine, a chemical that causes allergic symptoms. They can help reduce sneezing, itching and runny nose. However, some antihistamines can cause drowsiness, so make sure you choose a non-drowsy formula and follow the directions on the label. You can also ask your doctor for a prescription antihistamine if over-the-counter ones don't work well for you.

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Nasal sprays or drops can help clear your nasal passages and relieve congestion. They can also moisturize your nasal lining and prevent irritation from dry air. You can use saline (salt water) sprays or drops, or medicated ones that contain decongestants or steroids. Again, follow the directions on the label and don't overuse them as they can cause rebound congestion or side effects.

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A mask or a respirator can filter out allergens from the air and protect your nose and mouth. They can also prevent you from spreading germs to your patients or coworkers. You can use a disposable surgical mask or a reusable cloth mask that you wash regularly. You can also use a respirator that has a higher level of filtration, such as an N95 or P100. However, respirators can be more uncomfortable and harder to breathe through, so make sure you fit them properly and take breaks when needed.

Keep work area clean.png

Allergens can accumulate on surfaces and trigger your symptoms. Therefore, it's important to keep your work area clean and dust-free. You can wipe down your desk, keyboard, mouse, phone and other equipment with a damp cloth or disinfectant wipes. You can also vacuum or sweep the floor and empty the trash bin regularly. If possible, avoid working near windows or vents where allergens can enter from outside.

Drink plenty of water.png

Water can help flush out allergens from your system and keep you hydrated. It can also thin out your mucus and make it easier to blow your nose or cough up phlegm. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, more if you sweat a lot or work in a hot environment. You can also drink herbal teas, soups or juices that have anti-inflammatory or soothing properties, such as chamomile, ginger or lemon.

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Seasonal allergies can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Therefore, it's important to take care of yourself and get enough rest, exercise, and nutrition. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, and do some physical activity that you enjoy at least three times a week. You can also practice some stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing.

I hope these tips help you cope with seasonal allergies while at work. Remember, you're not alone in this struggle and there are ways to make it easier. Stay healthy and happy!