Don’t Sneeze Your Way Through Allergy Season
If you are anything like me, you are about ready for spring to begin. But if you are one of the estimated 50 million allergy sufferers in the U.S., you are also dreading the pollen that so naturally comes with this season.
Doctors across the country are already reporting that this could very well be one of the “harshest” pollen seasons due to the very long, hard winter we have just gone through (and in some cases, are still going through). Why is that? – you might ask. Well record amounts of snow on the ground created a lot of water for trees to drink, so this means that the pollen count once trees start to pollenate is going to be significantly high. Add to that the fact that moisture creates mold, so between the mold and the pollen – well you get the picture.
The question then is: what can we do about the conditions that are converging to make life for millions a little less pleasant?
According to a recent article, experts across the country are offering up some helpful advice (click here for full article):
- Avoid dependency on the same medication; it will lose its effect as the body becomes more accustomed. Switch up if you rely on medicines.
- Consider some natural alternatives. Studies found a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids could lessen allergy symptoms.
- While some foods lessen symptoms, experts say other foods might be irritants that you might want to stay away from (like pollen, apples and melons, contain similar irritant proteins).
- If you can, avoid activities during periods of the day when the pollen count is highest (5am- 10am), that would be helpful.
- Check the daily pollen count to stay prepared, and if you can, limit outdoor activity. Good websites are: (Pollen.com) or (Weather.com)
- Don’t have a computer – your local TV or radio news stations are good sources.
- Keep windows closed at home, to keep pollen from entering.
- Wash face and hair after coming in from the outdoors.
- Try not to engage in things like mowing the lawn, raking leaves, etc. This tends to stir up pollen and molds.
- Don’t dry your sheets and clothes outdoors.
In a ScienceDaily.com article, the Center for Disease Control suggests that you should know the difference between allergies, a cold, and flu symptoms because they often resemble one another and you need to know what you are treating. Check with your doctor if you are not sure. Generally pollen tends to cause “itchy eyes, nose and throat; sneezing; stuffy or runny nose, tearing or dark circles under the eyes.”
The reason for these reactions has to do with our body’s complex system of defenses against foreign intruders. Our body activates certain chemicals as a response. In this case histamine is released to fight the pollen that has been mistaken as an enemy. “The histamine travels through the blood and latches onto histamine receptors on other cells, causing them to swell. This inflammation causes many familiar allergy symptoms.”
There are generally three pollen seasons, which might be different depending on which part of the country you live in:
- Early spring when cedar, birch, cottonwood and pine pollinate.
- Late spring brings with it, grass-related allergies.
- Summer through fall is hay fever season caused by weeds.
Those of us who have allergies know that there are year-round irritants as well. Ragweed can grow in most regions and in almost all environments, and is one of the biggest offenders and triggers for allergy sufferers.
Get your tissues ready; we are in for a bumpy ride. So, make sure you know what “you are allergic to so you can avoid those triggers.”
Don’t forget, you can use the Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card to get significant savings on many of the prescription allergy medications and on other prescribed medicines.
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your health care provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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