Try these tips to enjoy outdoor living, gardening, and hiking despite your allergies.
Thick of It: Is the grass getting high? Wear a mask if you're mowing. Nothing fancy -- an inexpensive painter's mask works fine.
High and Dry:
Pollen counts are highest on hot, dry, windy days. Check the forecast before making plans.
Good Scents, Bad Sense:
Allergic to insect stings? Don't wear scented deodorants, perfumes, shampoos, or hair products. Carry an epi pen when hiking.
Some people have larger reactions around the sting. For example, a sting on your arm might cause your whole arm to swell. If you’re otherwise OK, you can start treatment on your own and then see your doctor. Here's how:
Put ice on the sting off and on (15 minutes on, 15 minutes off). Use a towel. Don’t put ice directly on your skin and don’t use heat.
If the sting is very large and painful your doctor may give you prescription antihistamines and steroids.
Reducing Your Risk
Once you have had a reaction to a fire ant sting, you have a 60% chance of having a similar or worse reaction if you are stung again. Ask your doctor about an Auvi-Q or EpiPen -- carry two injections with you if your doctor prescribes it -- and ask whether allergy shots would help.
To help reduce your risk of future stings:
Stay away from fire ant nests. Be careful when mowing the lawn.
Have a trained exterminator check for and get rid of fire ant nests around your home.