The latter part of the summer, from around mid-August to the end of September, should be a time for enjoying the last few days of beautiful weather and soaking up the sun in most parts of the world.
Unfortunately, it's also a time when many peoples' allergies are at their worst. It's the time for the dreaded hay fever – or the allergic reaction caused by the pollens that are being released from grasses and weeds. Itchy eyes, runny and stuffy noses happen in differing degrees, depending on how severely you are affected.
If you have a chronic lung disease like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), you need to take special care in keeping your allergies under control. A severe running nose can be enough to irritate your lungs into an exacerbation if you let it go untreated. Depending on the severity of your hay fever symptoms, you may or may not need to take allergy medicines to keep it from sending your lungs into a potentially dangerous flare-up.
If your symptoms are mild, it's likely that you will be able to treat your allergies and take preventative measures naturally. Of course, if you feel your allergies start to become unbearable, you should take the allergy medicines that work for you.
You will be able to check which days are the worst by watching the news or by checking weather websites, such as weather.com, for updates on the pollen count in your area. On days with a high pollen count warning, try to stay indoors, or take your allergy medicine in the morning before you even start to experience any symptoms.
You can try using a saline nasal spray to cleanse your nose of any pollens that may find their way into your nasal passages. If these are still present in your nose at night after your medicine wears off, you can find yourself waking up in the morning with a runny nose and itchy eyes.
Taking a shower and putting your clothes in an airtight hamper when you get home in the evening is also a good idea. Pollen gets trapped in your hair and on anything you were wearing that day when you were outside. If you bring things in from outside, be sure to wipe them down right away with a damp cloth. If you have a pet that needs to go out, use a wet towel to wipe down his or her fur when they come back in.
Clean the air in your house with an air purifier that has a HEPA filter. Even if you have the windows closed, pollen spores can still enter your house every time you open a door.
The cold, dry air at night can be very accommodating to pollen spores that may have entered your home throughout the day. Using a cool mist humidifier will help keep the pollen in your house down since moisture in the air keeps them from being dispersed through the air.
Information on this page is for reference and educational purposes only. For more information about COPD, talk to your doctor or primary care provider.
Page last updated: October 26, 2018
- Health Line. Seasonal Allergies and COPD: Tips to Avoid Complications. https://www.healthline.com/health/copd/seasonal-allergies-tips-avoid-complications/
- American Lung Associations. Nutrition and COPD. https://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/copd/living-with-copd/nutrition.html"