Now that spring is in full swing, it’s time to shed our layers and soak up the sun. But anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies knows all too well that when warm weather arrives, pollen and other allergens are not far behind. Luckily, there are a number of ways to help reduce and prevent allergy symptoms, so you can enjoy the season along with everybody else – maybe even enough to stop and smell the roses!
You might think you’re safe as long as you stay indoors; however, research shows there can be as much as 10 times more air pollution indoors than outdoors, since we typically spend more than 90 percent of our time inside. It’s crucial you take the time to conduct a top-to-bottom inventory of your home to determine where your allergen trouble spots are and clean them thoroughly. Pay close attention to bedding, carpets and rugs. Switch out your air filters, and aim to keep the humidity level at 60 percent or less – consider buying a thermometer with a humidity gauge and a dehumidifier. Close up all windows and doors on high-pollen days and opt for the A/C instead.
Diet and Lifestyle
Eat lots of foods that are high in antioxidants (fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, green tea, etc.) to help fight inflammation from the inside out. Go shoeless inside your home, leaving your footwear at the door when you first arrive to help minimize the amount of pollen being tracked in from outside. Wash your hair before going to bed so that pollen collected during the day won’t rub off on your pillow. If you normally dry your clothes outside, try drying them indoors to keep pollen from collecting on the fibers.
Shed Some Extra Pounds
It’s no surprise that being overweight can cause certain medical issues, like heart disease and diabetes, but did you know it can also magnify allergy symptoms? Having excess weight in your mid-section can prevent your lungs from fully expanding, making it harder to breathe – something you don’t want to deal with when suffering from allergies.
We all know that built-up stress takes a toll on the body and immune system, and a weakened immune system increases your chances of allergic reactions. Although eliminating stress from your life altogether is highly unlikely, you can learn to cope with and manage stress by finding a technique that works best for you (exercise, meditation, etc.).
In addition to an antihistamine that you may already be taking, a daily multivitamin and mineral supplements including magnesium, selenium, vitamins C, E and all the B vitamins can help relieve allergy symptoms. Other substances have also been known to help, including herbal supplements, like dried ivy leaf or pycnogenol, and drinking a cup of peppermint or chamomile tea each night before bed. Additionally you can try a daily dose of echinacea taken two weeks on, then two weeks off. Be sure to talk with your doctor before adding additional supplements to your current allergy regimen.
Allergies can be debilitating but there’s no reason to let them keep you from doing the things you love. Try a combination of solutions to find out what works best for you and then stick to that program!