In the U.S., the spring allergy season can begin as early as February and last until summer. Seasonal allergies may affect up to 8 percent of the U.S. population. In Texas, the number of people that suffer from allergies seems to be particularly high.
Seasonal allergies commonly present with symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, and itchy eyes. People also report itching in other areas such as their nose, mouth, and ears.
While it may be helpful to avoid going outdoors when pollen counts are particularly high it may be also prudent to prepare yourself to tackle allergy symptoms regardless of what the pollen count may be.
Allergy symptoms develop when the body develops antibodies to common harmless substances such as dust, pollen, or mold. The body releases an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE) which leads to the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies.
So what can you do to survive the allergy season?
1. Limit exposure
It only makes sense that if you are suffering from allergies that you try to limit exposure as much as possible. Some common ways to limit exposure is to do outdoor work before dawn or in the late afternoon when pollen counts are the lowest. It can also help to wear gloves and/or a mask when gardening or mowing the lawn.
2. Natural Remedies
There are some natural remedies that may help. These include hot peppers which may act as natural decongestants, Butterbur, Goldenseal, and Eucalyptus oil.
3. Nasal Irrigation
A common suggestion that can help relieve nasal congestion and flush out allergens is to use nasal saline irrigation. A Neti pot is an ancient form of nasal irrigation that is commonly used.
4. Healthy Lifestyle
Eating a healthy diet and focusing on limiting stress can also be helpful. I have personally found that when I eat a lower carbohydrate diet that I tend to have less allergies. It may also be beneficial to limit foods that tend to cause inflammation and/or allergies.
5. See a Doctor
When allergies become particularly severe it can sometimes may be necessary to try other treatments such as antihistamines, nasal steroids, systemic steroids, or allergy shots. While these options are not preferred they may be the only option for some with more severe symptoms.
For those that need help dealing with their allergy symptoms this spring feel free to reach out to me or schedule a visit.
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