A choo!! Frequently, this is the first sign that spring is on its way. If you are one of the between 10% and 30% of people who suffer from seasonal allergies, you do not necessarily need to suffer.
Spring is here, the grass is green. I wonder what the allergy is…?
If you are prone to seasonal allergies, you may find that you suddenly have a runny nose or itchy eyes as the weather warms up. Once allergy triggers enter your body, your immune system starts the fight to get rid of them, and now you have the symptoms of seasonal allergies!
Knowing the allergy triggers is the first step to possibly avoiding them and treating them correctly.
Mold that has been happily growing in the soil, decaying vegetation and plants throughout the winter, start releasing spores into the air as the weather gets warmer. The hotter and more humid the environment, the more mold spores there will be.
Pollen is the obvious cause of seasonal allergies. Once spring arrives, plants, flowers, and trees start producing pollen for fertilization. Plants that have pollen carried by insects do not usually cause allergy symptoms. It is the powdery pollen that get blown into the air that causes the seasonal allergies. The hotter and windier it is, the more of these types of pollen will be everywhere.
We do not normally think of pollen in relation to grass, but grass needs pollen to grow and spread. Fine-grained grass pollen is more likely to trigger allergies towards the latter part of spring and early summer. Once again, it is the wind that not only activates these, but also carries them through the air.
Can You Avoid the Triggers?
Now is the time for a good clean. Vacuum often – not only floors and carpets, but also beds, bedding and furniture.
If you absolutely hate mowing the lawn or weeding, this is your perfect excuse to get out of all those outdoor chores! Limit the time you spend outside and, if you have been out for a while, change your clothes when you come indoors. Always shower before bed to remove any stubborn particles. Some weather reports include a pollen count – check these and try to stay indoors when the pollen count is particularly high. The same applies for particularly windy days when the amount of pollen flying around is considerably higher.
Even though you may not be allergic to dogs or cats, remember that grass and pollen sticks to your beloved pets’ fur, so this may be a good time to keep them out of the bedroom. Have someone who does not suffer from allergies to brush them regularly. Make sure your pet gets bathed regularly as well. While you are keeping the animals out of the bedroom – shut the doors and windows to your house as well. Investing in an air purifier will help to keep at least the interior of your home as allergen-free as possible.
Why? Fatigue is a very real symptom of allergies, so make sure you are getting enough sleep.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
It is awfully tempting to rub those itchy eyes. Rubbing your nose or eyes can make the symptoms worse, and may even cause a cold.
Smoke, even second-hand smoke from both cigarettes and wood-burning fireplaces, can aggravate symptoms. Fumes from some perfumes can have the same effect, intensifying inflamed eyes, noses, and throats.
A study published in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found a significant reduction in seasonal allergy symptoms for those who were treated with acupuncture three times a week – why not give it a try?
The good news is that spring does not last forever and, if you get in touch with what is causing your allergies this year, you may suffer less – or even avoid them – next year!