Springtime!! Ahhhhhh!! Springtime Allergies!! AhhhhhCHOO!!

There are those of us that have the misfortune to suffer from allergies year round, but for many people, sneezing, congestion, and itchy eyes simply serve as an annual reminder that spring has arrived. Grass, ragweed, and especially pollen are often the culprits, wreaking havoc on those who are allergic. The immune system, mistakenly seeing the allergen as foreign invaders, releases antibodies, substances that normally identify and attack bacteria, viruses, and other illness-causing organisms. The antibodies attack the allergens, which leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other annoying symptoms of allergy season.

Allergy symptoms tend to be particularly high on breezy days when the wind picks up pollen and carries it through the air. Rainy days, on the other hand, cause a drop in the pollen counts, because the rain washes away the allergens.

Doctors treat spring allergies with a number of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Over-the-counter allergy drugs are quite effective for many people and include steroid nasal sprays, antihistamines, decongestants, and eye drops. Sometimes prescription medications or allergy shots are required for more severe cases.

The good news is that many preventative allergy measures do not even involve drugs, and are easily within our own control. Here a few tips to help your family overcome springtime allergy concerns:

  • Try to stay indoors whenever the pollen count is very high (pollen counts usually peak in the mornings). This count is often reported on local weather forecasts, or can easily be found online.
  • Keep your doors and windows closed whenever possible during the spring months to keep allergens out. An air purifier may also help, but note a humidifier can actually worsen the situation.
  • Allergen pillow and/or bed covers can greatly reduce the amount of allergens you’re breathing in while sleeping – this can especially be effective for dust mites.
  • Clean the air filters in your home often. Also, regularly dust bookshelves, vents, and other places where pollen can quickly collect.
  • Shower and wash your hair after going outside to rid yourself of pollen that had collected, and also be mindful about laundering clothes worn outside.
  • Vacuum at least twice a week. Wear a mask, because vacuuming can kick up pollen, mold, and dust that were trapped in your carpet.

 

These helpful tips, along with some OTC medications, can significantly help your family combat seasonal allergies, and be able to truly enjoy this spring. However, if allergies are more severe or cause a continued problem, it’s always a good idea to schedule a visit with your doctor.

About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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