It’s Allergy Szn.
Where my sniffly nose people at!?
Full disclosure: I’m currently curled up in a hotel room, post Benedryl so allergies are a hot topic for me today. Now I’m definitely not a doctor, but as a horse and animal lover with a chronic, terrible allergy to everything outside, I’ve learned some tips and tricks along the way.
Find an allergist. This is SO important. Think about it – if you’re allergic to peanut butter …. You don’t eat peanut butter. Allergic to pollen? You’re less likely to go outside during times of high pollen. Allergic to horses? I think I’ll spend spring curry combing my horses’ hair and primary allergen into my face. As horse people, we choose to be in close quarters with our allergens. Allergies and asthma can be super serious so it’s important to seek a medical professionals guidance in your treatment and management of your symptoms.
Find an allergist that understands you. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably well aware that horses are an addiction, not necessarily a choice. Now if you’re allergic to horses, the logical thing would be to stay away from them but we all know that is simply not possible. Make sure you find and allergist that is interested in helping you treat your symptoms and continuing to live your life as comfortably as you can. I had an allergist tell me to “change my major” (Animal Science) when my allergy test results came back. Um, heck no!! Luckily I was able to help them understand that this was simply not an option and they gave me some options that allow me to keep living my life.
Treat your symptoms before they start. As a chronic avoider of problems (downsides of being a positive Polly, amiright??) this one gets me every. single. time. I will not lie – while I know a full list of my allergies, it never fails to SHOCK me when I start feeling symptoms while at the barn. As I’ve gotten older, I have gotten better about treating the symptoms before they even begin. If I know I’m going to be around horses, I’ll be sure to take my allergy medicine with time to kick in before I go to the barn, take my inhaler before I go, and remember to bring my inhaler to treat the symptoms throughout the day. I wear contacts, so if I wake up with itchy eyes I’ll wear my glasses for the day to help lessen any issues. Find a medicine that works for you (I’m a fan of Xyzal) and keep stocks of it at your house and in the car.
Don’t be afraid to take a break. This one is hard, but know that sometimes you’ll have to take a day off. Don’t be afraid to speak up and remove yourself from a situation if you start not to feel well. While you might miss out on a day, if you stay there you’ll be making the next few days (at least) totally miserable.
Try not to get discouraged. This one is really hard for me – I get weirdly discouraged about having allergies. It makes me sad when all I want to do is hang around the barn a little longer or stay at the show a little later, but when you’re weezy and uncomfortable it’s not that much fun. Take care of yourself and know that there are a lot of other people out there with the same problem. And hey, it’s a pretty legit excuse to get out of stacking hay!
All in all, if you have allergies know that there are a lot of us out there feeling for you – especially this time of year!