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  • Writer's pictureHeather

My Top Tips for Surviving Allergy Season

Allergies are the result of our body and our immune system negatively reacting to a substance called an allergen. There are many different types of allergies affecting more than 50 million Americans annually. One of the most common forms of allergy is allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as seasonal allergies or hay fever. Seasonal allergies typically occur in the spring, summer, or fall and have a wide range of indoor and outdoor triggers. Common allergens include the following:

  • Trees such as birch, oak, cedar, walnut, and hickory

  • Grasses such as timothy, bermuda, and kentucky blue

  • Weeds such as ragweed, sagebrush, and pigweed

  • Dust mites, mold spores and pet dander

Allergies affect people differently; however, common symptoms include the following: coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion (stuffy nose), scratchy throat, rashes, hives, breathing problems such as wheezing, and asthma attacks. Here are a few tips for the upcoming season of allergy difficulties:

  1. Determine if it's really allergies. The sudden swing from cool to warm weather can make it hard to tell an allergic reaction from a cold or virus, particularly if we don't usually get seasonal allergies. Suspect allergies if congestion lasts for more than two weeks; if symptoms seem to get worse after exposure to triggers, such as spending a day at the park or running outside. The absence of fever and aches is another clue it's probably allergies and not a cold or other virus.

  2. Get smart with windows. If allergic to pollen, keep windows closed and run an air conditioner. On the other hand, if allergic to indoor allergies like mold and dust, throw the windows open and let in the fresh air, which can help clear allergens from the home.

  3. Kick off our shoes and work clothes as soon as we get home. Don't drag allergens throughout our home, where they'll continue to cause our symptoms to act up. Remove shoes outside the door and throw clothes in the hamper and change into something else. Shower at night to wash off any lingering pollen from our body and hair before getting into bed.

  4. Change and/or clean all air filters regularly. This can be a tedious job if we are cleaning furnace filters, however, it can mean the difference between breathing without difficulty and being miserable.

  5. Wear sunglasses when outside on high pollen count days to keep pollen out of eyes. If pollen count is especially high, and outdoor activity is necessary, consider wearing goggles for our time outside.

  6. Pollen counts are highest mid-day. Move activities to earlier in the day or wait until evening.

  7. Always keep our nutrition at an optimal level. This includes healthy food choices with lots of vegetables and fresh fruits. One of the top supplements is Quercetin, research suggests that quercetin, found in many plants and foods, can halt the body’s production of histamines that cause seasonal allergy symptoms. There are also several natural remedies available over the counter to help ease allergy symptoms.

Be proactive with these suggestions and keep allergy difficulties to a minimum.



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