While we all enjoy warmer and sunnier weather, the allergies that come with spring are everything but pleasant. But, knowing the source can help us reduce our exposure.
With the refreshing and warm breeze comes airborne pollen that makes the lives of those who from seasonal allergies miserable which is why spring is considered to be a tree pollen season. In the springtime, hay fever which is an allergy to pollen or mold affects 30 to 60 million people in the United States.
1. Springtime Allergy Struggles
Allergens send the body's immune system into overdrive. This translates into painful allergy symptoms such as sneezing, a stuffy nose, and annoying itching.
The most common triggers of hay fever are oak, maple, western red cedar, sycamore, elm, birch, ash, cypress, walnut, hickory, and poplar. When their pollen is in the air, millions start sneezing, experiencing congestion with itchy eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.
Moreover, mold, which is considered a year-round allergy, can also wreak havoc in spring when damp and rainy conditions, followed by warmer weather, lead to a high concentration of it. Mold, such as yeast and mildew, releases seeds called spores that are carried by the wind. It causes the same allergy symptoms.
How To Prevent And Treat Allergies
Besides your doctor prescribing you some over-the-counter remedies to ease the symptoms, your best defense is reducing your exposure to pollen in the first place.
Keep your home clean
Change filters regularly. This will not only minimize your allergy triggers as it will keep your indoor air clean, but it will also increase the longevity of your appliances, making them more efficient which can also help to lower your Duquesne utility bill. Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier. Clean floors regularly with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that traps 99.97% of microscopic particles in the air. Simple tweaks can also make a difference such as keeping windows shut to keep out pollen and taking off your shoes at the door, so allergens stay out. Also, you shouldn’t air-dry your laundry outside because it will collect pollen.
Keep yourself clear of pollen
Wash your clothes when coming home and take a shower after you've been exposed to pollen and mold spores. You should also delegate yard work and avoid exercising outdoors on days when pollen counts are high. The best time to go outside is after rain, which helps clear pollen from the air. Don't hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
Cleanse your sinuses
Rinsing your nasal passages with saline solution is a quick, inexpensive, and effective way to relieve nasal congestion as rinsing will flush out mucus and allergens from your nose. Just make sure you rinse the irrigation device after each use and leave it to air dry.
Seek natural relief
Nature has a cure for everything. Although more research is needed, there are many herbal remedies that could help with allergy symptoms. Butterbur, Biminne, Ginko Biloba, and Chinese skullcap are all popular remedies. But, you should always consult with your doctor first as natural remedies don’t necessarily mean safe. Just like essential oils can be toxic, butterbur may trigger an allergy reaction in people who are sensitive to plants like marigold and bimini aren't advised to those who take diabetes medication.
Protect yourself early on
The best approach is to start taking your medication before the season starts so the medicine will already be within your system before you need it. This doesn’t’ mean you shouldn’t always have antihistamines at hand because they block your body’s response to allergies and work quickly in less than an hour. Also, you should always read the package carefully as some drugs like chlorpheniramine, clemastine, and diphenhydramine can make you drowsy.
Bothersome symptoms that come with allergies are never fun so you should take all the precautionary steps when pollen is in the air so you can actually enjoy spring. It would be a shame to miss it!