Springtime and Seasonal Allergies

sneezy happy faceIt lands all over our cars – green and powdery.  And then – sneeze, cough, hack!!!  When pollen comes down, the symptoms begin.  Some call this ailment seasonal allergies, doctors call it allergic rhinitis.

These tiny grains called pollen float through the air off trees, grass, and weeds.  If you suffer from allergies, as you breathe in pollen, your body thinks it’s bacteria or a virus, and subsequently, goes into attack mode.  As a result, there is a build-up of the chemical histamine in the blood which makes you itch, your nose run, and other symptoms.

Okay, we got all of that, but what can we allergy sufferers do?

Reduce exposure that may trigger your allergic symptoms by:

  • Staying indoors on dry and windy days
  • Delegate gardening chores and lawn mowing
  • Remove the clothing you have worn outside as quickly as you can
  • Don’t hang laundry outside as pollen will stick to clothing
  • Wear a mask if you have to work outside
  • Check the weather for the pollen forecast
  • If a high pollen count is predicted, start taking allergy meds beforehand
  • Close windows and doors when the pollen count is high
  • Vacuum at least twice a week and clean bookshelves or vents where pollen can land
  • Try an air purifier

There are several over-the-counter products one can purchase as well:

  • Oral antihistamines – this drug relieves sneezing, itching, runny noses, and watery eyes.
  • Decongestants – this drug provides temporary relief to nasal stuffiness.
  • Nasal sprays – sprays ease congestion and may clear clogged nasal passages.
  • Combination medications – such as an antihistamine and decongestant, does the job of both types of drugs in one.

And lastly, since everyone is different, it may take a bit of personal research and testing before you find what’s right for you.

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