Dealing with Spring Allergies
After a long and hard winter, most of us are looking forward to spring. Spring is the season when birds chirp, grass grows, and cool breezes welcome you outside. Yet while the season has its joys, there are some people who suffer from seasonal allergies in the spring. This often makes outdoor activities extremely challenging.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America suggests that pollen from trees, weeds and grass can start as early as February. That is when symptoms like congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes kick in.
Allergies are caused by the body’s overreaction to certain substances. They can range from sneezing to breaking out in hives. People are allergic to different things including pollen, molds, animal dander and harmless proteins in the environment.
Seasonal allergies are triggered by substances that are more common at particular times of the year, such as pollen. Your body reacts with some kind of inflammation, which produces a lot of annoying symptoms. In the early part of spring, yellow pollen is everywhere – on our cars, our driveways, and our grass. In addition, there are pollen particles that are not visible to the naked eye. Pollen can be extremely bothersome for people with allergies and often triggers classic symptoms of allergic rhinitis including sneezing, runny nose, nasal stuffiness, itchy eyes, nose, ears or throat, sinus pressure and postnasal drainage. In some people, seasonal allergic rhinitis also results in itchy or inflamed skin.
The most effective strategy for dealing with pollen is to avoid exposure to it. However, that is difficult to achieve since pollen is everywhere. Those suffering from such allergies can use antihistamines or nasal steroids/nasal antihistamines. It’s best to use the medicines as per the guidelines of your physician. However, allergic rhinitis is treatable and there is no reason why you should suffer from it and not be able to enjoy spring.
If you suffer from allergies, it is recommended that you keep the windows in your house closed. Always take off your shoes before entering the house and wipe down pets if they’ve been outside. For those of you who suffer from serious allergies, try to avoid going outside early in the morning since pollen count is very high at that time. If you have to work in the yard, wear a paper mask.
You can check the pollen count in your area by reviewing reports from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). You can sign up for daily updates to be aware of how the day will be.
Always keep your place dust-free. Vacuum thoroughly and make sure you clean crevices where dust particles can set in. Clean carpets, pillows, curtains, furniture and under the bed.
Also, here are ways you can boost your immune system. Some immune-friendly foods and supplements include onions, apples, coconut oil, honey, and olive leaf complex. Honey is soothing for the throat. Green tea also has many healing compounds. In addition, quercetin and stinging nettle can help combat sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose.
Spring is the season of bloom and joy. People with seasonal allergies can enjoy the season along with everyone else as long as they take some precautionary measures to protect themselves from harmful substances.
Marina Gafanovich, MD,is the founder of an annual check-up center in New York, has been recognized as the top in her field for primary care in NYC. She received her undergraduate degree from New York University. After that she received her medical degree from Sackler School of Medicine in New York City in 2002. She was a resident in Internal Medicine at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY. Her dedication to patient education and excellence gained her a position as a Hospital Care Attending Physician. Dr. Gafanovich is affiliated with New York Presbyterian Hospital.