Prevention & Treatment to Improve Wellness During Spring Allergy Season
Ah-choo! Welcome to spring allergy season; if you listen carefully, you’ll hear the first notes of returning songbirds, the buzz of a choir of bumblebees, and a melody of sneezing everywhere around you! When these first early signs of spring return, it’s time to look at these 10 tips for prevention and treatment to improve wellness during spring allergy season.
Common Causes of Spring Allergies
As the trees produce leaves and the first flowers break through, allergies start to run rampant for many people. While there are too many to list, here are a few of the most common causes of spring allergies aka allergic rhinitis:
- Outdoor molds
- Tree pollen
- Ragweed and weed pollen
- Flower pollen
- Grass pollen
Avoid Your Allergy Triggers
If you know what you’re allergic to, avoid your allergy triggers. For example, if you’re allergic to grass pollen, a common allergen, avoid cutting the grass yourself. Ask your spouse to pitch in or pay a retired neighbor or neighborhood teenager a few dollars. Staying indoors during the springtime is imperative for those with the worst cases of allergies.
If you don’t know your allergy triggers, get tested! It’s the only sure-fire way to determine with 100% certainty what’s causing your ailments. It’s worth it, because avoiding your allergens when possible is the best prevention of a flare-up!
It sometimes seems like water is the cure-all for every ailment, and allergy treatment is no exception! Drinking water helps you in numerous ways during allergy season.
- Water keeps you hydrated. When you hydrate your body, you increase your immune system. In turn, you prevent an allergy flare up from morphing into a full-blown sinus or respiratory infection.
- Water helps to keep your throat clear of the mucus that is causing that itching feeling that makes you cough.
- As you inhale allergens, water can help to flush them away before they before they trigger your symptoms.
If you are prescribed medications to treat your allergies, take them as prescribed. It’s easy to drop out of the habit of taking that daily dose or medicine during the winter months. However, it’s important to start taking them a couple of weeks before the onset of pollens in your area. Set a clock with a daily reminder to get yourself back on track. As the antihistamines of the medication builds up in your system, you’ll be able to fend off those otherwise inevitable symptoms.
If you don’t take a prescription, talk to your pharmacist. There are wonderful over the counter options that she can recommend for relief from your symptoms.
Saline Nasal Treatments
Saline nasal treatments are used for both prevention and treatment of your allergy symptoms. They are available in commercially prepared sprays; sinus spray bottles; or delivered through a very effective treatment, the Neti Pot. In fact, many naturopathic doctors recommend daily use of a Neti Pot because it’s so effective.
The Neti Pot is very effective in helping to flush allergens from your nasal passages, thereby reducing allergy symptoms. In addition, it loosens and removes mucus for instant relief. Finally, it moistens the inside of your nasal passages to help reduce the chance of sinus infections from developing.
Shut Your Windows
It’s a shame, but when the warm and relaxing spring breezes start up, shut your windows. This will help you to keep those grass, tree, and weed pollens where they belong…outside! Remain indoors as much as possible during peak allergy season with your heat or a/c unit running to regulate your temperature.
Shower Before Bed
Before you go to bed each evening, take a shower. Even if you took a shower in the morning and you think you’re clean, take a shower!
Throughout the day, allergens build up on your skin and collect in your hair. When you go to bed, you will lie your head full of pollen onto the pillow, then faceplant into the pillow and those irritants. The only way to eliminate this is to shower and shampoo to wash that nasty pollen down the drain!
Washing and Drying Sheets
Washing and drying your sheets in hot water, once a week, is a must-do during allergy season. Dry them in the dryer. Dry them indoors on high heat in the dryer. The hot water and high temp dryer will help to remove pollen and kill any mold or mildew spores.
Although drying clothes over a clothesline leaves an excellent, fresh smell, it also allows pollen to collect on your sheets. So skip the line-drying outdoors to keep your allergies in check.
Install a HEPA Filter
Since you’re staying indoors, your windows are closed, and your a/c is running, put you heating and cooling system to better use for you. Swap out your standard filter for a HEPA filter. This special filter traps mold and pollen so that it doesn’t enter your home through your system’s fresh air intake. Look for the “certified allergy friendly” logo on the filter.
Commit to Stay Fit
Commit to a year-round improved diet and exercise regimen, and you’ll be better able to fight spring allergies. Allergic rhinitis is technically an immune disorder. Your immune system is better equipped to fight off those uncomfortable allergy symptoms.
Spring allergies might not be totally avoidable. You’ll have some exposure to your allergens. But arming yourself with these tips can help to avoid the misery of full-blown allergy attack this spring. Taking these precautions, and treating your symptoms smartly, will ensure you feel well this spring.