Spring and summer bring many great things to people. The warmer weather brings us outside more often to enjoy activities but for some of us, it can also be problematic with allergies. How do you deal with your allergies while driving? Do they make your eyes itchy or water? Do you sneeze more often? Does this add risks to your driving abilities? These are all things to think about each time we drive, but as long as you make adjustments to our allergies, you can still remain a safe driver.
Hay fever tends to affect between 20% to 25% of our population. Many of the sufferers do absolutely nothing to relieve the symptoms of hay fever. If you’re sneezing a lot or often have a runny nose, chances are you have hay fever and not just a cold. It’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor to verify if you have allergies or not so if you do, there are things you can do to relieve yourself. Can the sneezing, runny nose or watery and itchy eyes affect your driving? Absolutely. So what can you do about them?
If you suffer from summertime allergies, take your medication to relieve yourself of these affects ahead of time, well before you have to drive. As for any medication, read the label as many allergy medications cause drowsiness and that would severely affect your safely while driving. If you have medication that can help you long term, check the pollen count on weather reports and take the medication before you drive, not after you begin to suffer from your allergy. Use antihistamines, nose sprays and eye drops to control symptoms throughout the day. Keep these with you in your vehicle so if you feel the symptoms creeping up on you, you can address it early.
I tend to sneeze many times in a row. At home when I sneeze the first time my kids say “bless you”, but after that they just count aloud how many sneezes I’ve done. I think my record is 21 sneezes in a row. What happens when I’m driving and this happens? I usually pull over to finish my sneezes as you can’t really keep your eyes open while sneezing and you really shouldn’t want to. Also, pulling over means I can use a tissue to cover my nose and mouth while sneezing and not spread my germs. Keep a good supply of tissues in your vehicle for these purposes. Luckily for me though, my sneezing fits aren’t on a daily basis or even a weekly basis. And by the way, ever wonder what happens when you sneeze? Read this; http://bit.ly/1t54wf7
Your cabin filter is also something that can help the air quality within your vehicle. Check the filter regularly to ensure it’s clean or needs to be replaced, especially in early spring before the pollen really starts to hit the air. Hay fever can actually start in February and can happen anywhere, not just the countryside. Also, ensure you keep a bottle of water in the car with you if your allergies are acting up, as dehydration can worsen hay fever symptoms.
Preparing yourself during your allergy season is import for your safety and for the safety of your passengers. If your allergies are really acting up, you can always just avoid driving altogether. Perhaps have someone else drive if you really have to get around. Perhaps sit in the backseat and pretend you’re someone important. Oh wait, you are important.