How to Treat Seasonal Allergies Without Drowsiness

Here are some ways you can minimize this sleepy side effect.

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The arrival of spring brings warmer temperatures, new leaves on trees, and budding flowers. The bad news? It’s also time for seasonal allergies. This means never-ending sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny noses. It seems like facial tissues and allergy medications are your best friend at the moment, but the last thing you want to do is take a medicine for allergies that causes drowsiness.

Treating Allergies Without Drowsiness

As you’re probably well aware, old-school antihistamines to combat symptoms of allergies can cause drowsiness. The last thing you need is to fall asleep during an important meeting or while you’re enjoying time with friends and family. If you don’t feel like being sleepy all the time, try these alternative medications and lifestyle tips:

1. Keep your windows and doors shut

This helps keep pollen from getting indoors. It might be difficult to do this during the summer, but turn on a fan if you can so there’s air circulating throughout your home.

2. Monitor pollen count

Weather reports on the radio or TV will often include this information during allergy season. Avoid outdoor activities (such as jogging) when pollen counts are high. Break out the board games and movie marathons when it’s too risky to go outside.

3. Wear a mask when doing chores outdoors

If avoiding outdoor activities is out of the question, wear a face mask. Choose a mask that filters particles as you inhale, instead of surgical masks or cloth face coverings. This will be useful if you’re looking for additional protection. The pandemic has normalized wearing face masks, so they’re easy to find.

Learn more here about managing seasonal allergies during outdoor activities.

4. Take a shower and change your clothes after spending time outside

Pollen can stick to fabric and continue causing symptoms. Showering is a great way to eliminate any outside residue.

5. Choose non-drowsy treatment options

Nowadays, there are “second-generation” antihistamines that are less likely to cause drowsiness than their ancestors.

You can also try:

  • Nasal saline sprays: They can help clear out allergens from your nose.
  • Allergy shots: These can reduce symptoms for weeks or months at a time. They’re not for everyone, so talk to your doctor to learn if they’re an option for you.

For more suggestions on how to manage your allergies, talk to your primary care doctor or your allergist. Don’t let allergy season coop you up at home. Enjoy the warm weather (and your energy).