Beating Seasonal Allergies
Posted on May 10, 2017 by CHS
The California drought is finally over thanks to the abundant amount of rainfall this past winter. Spring time is finally here and flowers are blooming everywhere. In fact, this is one of the biggest blooming seasons California has ever seen. The flowers, although beautiful, can be a living nightmare for those that suffer from seasonal allergy attacks. Here are some healthful tips to help you and your family beat seasonal allergies. Please note that it is crucial to consult with your doctor for full details on your allergy treatments, as this serves as informational and is not medical advice.
Less time outdoors – The simplest thing you can do to avoid pollen is to stay inside. Billions of tiny pollen grains are released into the air every spring and when you breathe them in, they can trigger an allergic reaction. It is best to avoid the outdoors during morning hours and windy days as pollen counts are at their peak. When you do go outside, you can protect yourself by wearing glasses or sun glasses to keep pollen away from your eyes. Wearing a filter mask can help you breathe more comfortably around the pollen. It is also important to wash your hands frequently when you are outside as pollen can stick directly on your skin. After returning home, make sure to take a shower, wash your hair thoroughly, and change your clothes as pollen can hide in your hair and clothes.
Take allergy medicine – Medicine can help with the sniffles and runny nose. Antihistamines are used to reduce or block these symptoms so that you can feel more at ease around pollen. However, some older drugs like chlorpheniramine, clemastine, and diphenhydramine can make you drowsy so it’s important to read the labels carefully as they will indicate the side effects. Andrew Kim, M.D., an allergist in Fairfax, VA, also suggests a nasal spray for more severe allergies. He notes that in order for this to work, you need to use it consistently. Since the spray can have side effects like burning, dryness, or nosebleeds, it is recommended to use the lowest dose to ensure it doesn’t overwhelm your system. With any allergy medicine, start taking your medicine long before your allergy reaction starts interfering with your life. Kim says it’s best to prepare at least 1 week before the season begins to make sure the medicine is already in your system by the time you need it.
Healthy food to fortify immune system – Michel McRae, Master of Science in Nutrition, recommends a list of food to fight against allergies. To decrease inflammation, McRae recommends Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, from cold water fish, algae sources, and supplements. Hot tea with lemon and honey in the morning will help to keep allergens out of your system. Black and green teas are the best teas for fighting allergies as they are high in quercetin. Eating fruits and vegetables that have high antioxidants and vitamin C, like strawberries, kiwi, and dark leafy greens, will also toughen your immune system and lower allergic reactions.
Get plenty of sleep – When you are rested, your stress level will go down and will help keep your hormones and cortisol in balance. When they are imbalanced, you may have a more severe allergic response. Make sure to get a full 8 hours of sleep every night to keep your system in balance.
Allergy-hacks for home – Home is where you and your family spend most of your time, so it is important to keep the house pollen-free. Shut all windows to keep pollen out and use an air conditioner to cool your home instead of a fan, as fans draw in air from outside. A humidifier will also remove some of the allergens from the air by releasing moisture back into the air. If your family follows the “no shoes in the house” rule, take an extra step to keep the shoes by the door and ask your guests to do the same. For cleaning the floor, use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter, which traps 99.97% of microscopic particles in the air. Don’t line-dry clothes or sheets outdoors in warm weather as pollen will latch on to the fabric.