Allergy Season 101
It’s back!!! “One of the most beautiful times of the year” Well, for those who do not suffer from, sneezing, itchy eyes and congestion that comes with allergies... Yes, I said it that nine letter word “ALLERGIES.” Now, I have never gone into anaphylactic shock, but I have found myself gasping for air and not just because my nostrils were jammed packed with a tissue, frustrated from the constant tingling and running of my nose. Let me tell you not, so attractive.
All kidding aside allergies are a serious thing. Some allergies are severe and require the attention of a doctor or other health care professional. For milder cases, though, home remedies may provide all the relief you need, with relatively little expense or hassle. Even people with bad allergies who need medication may find these at-home do’s and don’ts helpful for easing symptoms.
Is it possible to minimize the allergy irritants? Yes. Awareness is the key. For instance, did you know? Hanging your bedding or close on the line to dry will collect pollen and other allergens. Sure, there is nothing better then fresh line dried sheets, but if your nose is too plugged to enjoy it, what's the point. I hope you find the list of allergy do’s and don’ts listed below helpful.
Chamomile tea is known for its calming effects, not so calming if you have seasonal allergies. If you are a tea drinker, you'll probably want to stay away from chamomile, as it can cause reactions in people allergic to ragweed.
The skinny on HEPA filters
I am no expert, but since using one, I have noticed a difference. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters ease symptoms by trapping allergens and other airborne irritants, such as pet dander and dust. Portable air cleaners equipped with HEPA filters can purify the air in bedrooms and other confined spaces, but whole-house systems that incorporate HEPA filters into your home's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system are generally more effective.
Air conditioners and dehumidifiers also can help clean air, they remove moisture from the air and floor, which will curb the growth of the mold and mildew that can worsen allergies.
Are you making allergies worse?
Allergies are the worst. A stuffy nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and other allergy symptoms can make life a misery. But is your own cluelessness contributing to the problem? Biggest mistakes people make when it comes to allergies, and the smart ways to avoid them. There, don’t you feel better already?
You exercise at the wrong time
If you love an outdoor workout, avoid the morning or early afternoon, research has shown, grasses and trees start releasing pollen at sunrise, with levels peaking in the late morning and early afternoon. So, if you are an allergy sufferer, it might be best to run late afternoon or evening.
You undermine your air purifier
Room air purifiers and filters are an extremely effective way to remove pollen, animal dander, dust, and other allergens from the indoor air, but unless you close the doors and windows in the room where you're using one, it's basically useless. Room air cleaners are meant to do just that, filter the room—not your entire house, or the great outdoors.
You’ve got clutter
Stuffed animals are cute, cuddly, and unfortunately, major magnets for dust, a common allergy trigger. If your child has piles of fluffy friends, and he or she—or anyone in the household—has allergies, you’re better off storing or giving them away.
You sleep with your pet
It may seem sweet to snooze with your pup or kitty at night, but it's not a good idea if you have allergies. Even if you’re not allergic to animals, pets can bring in pollen, dust, mold, and other allergens from the outdoors. It’s best to avoid letting your dog or cat hang out on your bed. "Your bedroom should essentially be an allergy-free zone," he says. For the same reason, you’re better off with bare floors in the bedroom, or only using a rug or two that you can throw in the wash periodically.
As seasons change, plants spew pollen. So, try to anticipate and treat yourself before that happens. Same goes if you know you'll be visiting a cat-loving friend, and felines are your worst symptom trigger. "Most over the counter and prescribed medications work better to prevent allergy symptoms than they do to treat them, so don’t wait until you’re having symptoms to start taking them. There is nothing worse than gasping for air shuffling through your bag to find your inhaler.
Why Showering can minimize allergens
Anyone who has even been stuffed-up knows the impressive ability of a steaming hot shower to soothe sinuses and clear nasal passages, if only temporarily. But showers offer an added benefit for springtime allergy sufferers. A quick rinse after spending time outdoors can help remove allergens from your skin and hair—and prevent them from spreading to clothes, furniture, pillowcases, and other surfaces where they're likely to dog you.
Don't feel like getting soaked and toweling off every time your sinuses get clogged? Other methods of inhaling steam—store-bought vaporizers, for instance—can flush out mucus and moisten dry nasal passages nearly as well as a shower.
The easiest method is simply to pour boiling water into a bowl or other container, drape a towel over your head to form a tent, and inhale deeply through your nose for five to 10 minutes. (Just be careful not to get your face too close to the water, as you may scald yourself.) If you find yourself really clogged up, this may be more convenient than taking several showers a day.
Why use a Neti-pot
Neti pots are fast becoming a mainstream remedy for allergies and stuffed-up sinuses. Using a Net-pot, involves rinsing your nasal cavity with a saline solution, this flushes out allergens (like pollen) and loosens mucus.
Using a Neti pot is simple. First, fill the pot with a mixture of salt and warm water, (you can buy premeasured kits or make your own). Then tilt your head to the side and pour the solution in one nostril until it flows out the other, repeating the process on the opposite side. (Important note: Use boiled or distilled water only, as tap water can introduce potentially dangerous organisms into your system.)
Although Neti pots have been studied more extensively, and in some cases, may prove more effective, saline sprays also have been shown to help with allergy symptoms and other sinus problems. Prepackaged saline nasal sprays function much like Neti pots, but some allergy sufferers may find them easier to use. Sprays deliver saline solution a bit more gently and evenly, whereas pots can sometimes be a little "sloppy."
Never let your EpiPen is expire
If you need to carry an EpiPen (an autoinjector) because you’re at high risk of a serious allergic reaction, check every year to make sure its expiration date hasn’t passed, and replace it if it has. It's also a bad idea to keep your EpiPen in the car, where it can be exposed to temperature extremes that make it less effective.