Allergy symptoms can include:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Itchy, runny nose
- Rashes, hives
- Postnasal drip
- Sinus pressure and headaches
Every person is different in the particular symptoms they experience as well as the severity in which they present themselves. If you are unaware of the allergens that upset your immune system, scheduling a visit with an allergist or your general practitioner should be your first plan of action. Becoming aware of the allergens that negatively affect you the most will allow you to avoid and treat specific symptoms.
Eliminating allergic responses to seasonal allergies can greatly improve your quality of life. Consider the following actions before the season strikes and you’re left with the dreaded side effects of being outdoors.
1. TRACK ALLERGEN/POLLEN LEVELS
Many people are aware of the general time in which allergy season begins but are not aware of how soon allergy symptoms can present themselves. A great way to stay up to date on your local allergen counts is to utilize The Weather Channel. The Weather Channel (https://weather.com) provides an accurate assessment of all the potential allergens in your area as well as their levels of severity. Through Weather.com’s “Allergy Tracker”, you are able to see which particular allergens are the most prevalent, such as tree pollen, grass pollen, and ragweed pollen. You are also able to discern between trigger allergens or allergens that are of no bother to your system. The Weather Channel also provides a daily forecast that shows you which days you should avoid the outdoors (high allergen levels) and which days you are free to enjoy the outdoors with minimal irritants (low allergen levels). This can be a very effective tool in planning outdoor events such as graduation parties, family reunions, or even a day at the beach with friends.
2. SPRING CLEANING
Cleaning is such a tedious task that almost no one enjoys but spring cleaning is actually an essential part in prepping your home for the upcoming allergy season. Although invisible to the naked eye, dust particles as well as cold and flu germs have accumulated all over your home during the winter, hibernation months. Each time you step outdoors, you are exposed to free pollen traveling through the air. The pollen then sticks to your clothes, shoes, skin, or hair which is then brought back into your home. Your home should be an escape from your battle with aggravating allergy symptoms, get that vacuum out and running before your allergies sneak up on you!
3. KEEP YOUR WINDOWS CLOSED
Opening your windows to a nice summer breeze can give you and your home much needed fresh air. However, this can cause more harm than good if you are prone to seasonal or environmental allergies. As stated earlier, pollen and other allergens get tracked into your home on a daily basis. Keeping your windows open is the same as welcoming irritable pests right into your home!
4. ADD FRUITS, VEGGIES, AND GREEN TEA TO YOUR DIET
Fruits and vegetables are essential to everyone’s diet all year round. They provide you with essential vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to perform at its utmost potential. Before allergy season begins, try incorporating a larger quantity of these food groups into your diet. The natural chemicals and antioxidants they possess are a perfect way to fight the inflammation associated with allergic responses by building up your immune system.
Green tea also fights allergic reactions as it is a natural antihistamine. This is an easy way to control a sore throat or nasal drainage.
5. STOCK YOUR MEDICINE CABINET WITH ANTIHISTAMINES
For many seasonal allergy sufferers, taking an antihistamine daily help alleviate those annoying symptoms. Over-the-counter medications such as Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra are a very common choice when treating allergies. These antihistamines react with high histamine levels in the body and calm down the body’s immune response to the allergen.
Some allergy sufferers opt for a decongestant to tackle their allergy battle. However, decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine or Benadryl, can cause unpleasant side effects such as nervousness, fatigue, sleeplessness, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure. Patients with heart problems or high blood pressure should not take decongestants.
Another common solution to seasonal allergies are nasal decongestant sprays. It is important to know that you cannot use these sprays for more than 3 days in a row. Nasal sprays can make your congestion and swelling worse, or last longer, if used daily.
Natural antihistamine supplements are a great option for people who want their histamine levels to dramatically lower and eventually dissipate altogether. Histamine Shield Plus is an example of a very effect, naturally compounded antihistamine.