Tips for fighting allergies this season

Posted on Jun. 7th 2011 No Comments »

Spring brings warmer weather, sunny days and pollen. Lots and lots of pollen. This, of course, triggers allergy attacks in tens of millions of people every year. Allergies are never a fun thing to have to deal with and can be debilitating, making day to day life pretty much impossible. Allergies affect every aspect of life, from appetite to sleep. If you find yourself dealing with allergies this spring, here are a few tips that can give you some relief and alleviate your symptoms.

Know your triggers

Are you allergic to pollen? Or maybe dust mites are your archenemy. Knowing what’s triggering your allergies is key in treating them. You can get allergy testing done that will let you know exactly what you’re allergic to and the severity of the allergy. But if you start sneezing and rubbing at your eyes whenever you’re around your best friend’s cat then you don’t need allergic tests to tell you that you’re allergic to cats. And there’s no rule that says you can only be allergic to one thing: you may have a host of allergies that are causing you trouble.

Clean more

During allergy season make sure that you are keeping your home’s surfaces super clean and vacuum, sweep and dust more often. This will help keep the dust mites to a minimum. And even if you’re allergic to pollen, cleaning the house more frequently in the spring and summer will help with any pollen that may have been tracked inside.

Over the counter help

A daily allergy medication can help reduce your symptoms drastically. You may have to try a few different ones before you find the right pill for your allergies. And make sure to read the labels carefully. Not all allergy medications are non-drowsy. In fact, some of them can knock you out for a few hours.

Nasal rinse

A salt water nasal rinse in the morning and at night before you go to bed can help to clear out your sinuses and make breathing a lot easier. There are kits that you can buy at your pharmacy that make it easy to do. It might feel a bit weird at first, but it’s a great non-drug way to get some relief.

Keep pollen out of the house

When you return home from work or running errands, remove your shoes at the door and take off your clothing as soon as you come in. Pollen can gather and collect on clothes and if you come into your house, sit on the couch, etc, then you’ll be spreading pollen around your home.

Open\close windows accordingly

If you suffer from a pollen allergy, your best bet is to keep your windows closed and install an air conditioning unit to keep cool during pollen season. But if you suffer primarily from indoor allergies like dust and mold, throwing open your windows and letting in some fresh air is the way to go.

Keep your stress in check

Increased stress levels can actually make allergies worse. Poor eating habits, not enough sleep and high tension levels can all make allergies worse. So take time each day for some “me time” and make sure that you are staying as calm and relaxed as possible.

Eat some local honey

If you suffer from pollen allergies, eating some local honey can help alleviate your symptoms by allowing your body to build up a bit of immunity to it. But it has to be a local honey: check out your local farmers’ market or organic store.

Allergies are never a fun thing to have to deal with. For some people spring doesn’t just bring warmer weather and longer days: it brings sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes and congestion. But by paying attention to your triggers and using some of the above tips you can alleviate your allergies and make spring a much happier time.

Vern Marker is a freelance writer for a family doctor.  When he is not writing or blogging, he loves to travel the world.  Follow his adventures on Twitter @VernMarker.

Posted by Abby Gilmore | in Green Living

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