It's time once again for us all to put together our list of New Year's resolutions. It's a yearly ritual for setting goals, and when it works, it's great. Unfortunately, for so many of us, our good intentions never quite seem to translate into new and healthier habits and routines. Still, the possibility is always there to make those changes you want to make in your life.
Here are some worthy New Year's resolutions that can help you manage your nasal allergies more effectively this coming year:
1. Identify your personal allergic triggers are & take 3 steps to minimize your contact with them. Most people who have nasal allergies find that their symptoms are triggered by some kind of allergen, such as dust, pets, mold or pollen. It can be truly challenging to avoid such things in your environment, but whatever you can do is sure to have positive effects and minimize your allergy symptoms greatly.
2. Become an expert in your allergy medication. Allergy medication has come a long way in the last couple of decades and is often the most effective line of defense, especially if you are having trouble controlling the amount of allergens in your environment. None of us like taking medication every day, but when you take care of your allergies with an effective medication, it's much less likely to interfere with living your life. Pills are easy to take, but some allergy medicine is available in other formats these days, such as nasal sprays and eye drops. Make sure you know how to use your medicine correctly. Ask a pharmacist or your doctor if you're not sure you're doing it right.
3. Anticipate seasonal fluctuations & prepare for them. People with allergies related to pollen may notice that asthma gets worse when pollen levels are high. In early to mid-spring, trees will begin to bloom. If you don't need to take allergy medicine during the cold season, taking it as pollen counts begin to rise can help keep your symptoms under control. Allergy medicines often take a week or two to reach full effectiveness, so be sure you start taking them in advance of all the blooming, etc.
4. Adopt overall healthier living habits. Staying as healthy as you can overall will strengthen your ability to weather any allergy flare-ups that may come along. So getting plenty of sleep each night (at least 7 hours), learning how to manage your stress effectively, limiting alcohol intake, quitting smoking, eating healthy and staying active are all ways to live healthy and be at your best.
5. Open the lines of communication with your doctor. Managing your nasal allergies will work best when you combine your knowledge of your body with your doctor's medical expertise. Communicate openly and honestly with your doctor, so that you can operate as equal partners in managing your health. And if you haven't seen an allergy specialist (allergist) lately, then think about doing so over the coming year. Get that special expertise that might help you gain the edge over your allergies once and for all!
6. Learn all you can about nasal allergies. The great thing about allergies being so common is that there is a lot of research being done on what causes them and the best ways to treat them. New therapies are emerging every year. Keep yourself informed by following websites like this one to learn about new research and newly approved therapies. Then take what you learn to each visit with your doctor and talk about what might apply to your situation.
You don't have to adopt all of these New Years' allergy resolutions as your own. But even if you just pick a couple of them, you'll be ahead of the game and more likely to stay healthy over the coming year. Happy New Year!