The spring is one of the most annoying times of the year. It is wet almost all the time to help the flowers and plants grow. This is also the time of year that most people will deep clean their home, often referred to as spring cleaning.
Allergies during this time of year are common. While some will just have minor irritants in their noses, others will suffer from severe reactions to the allergens around them. However, how can you prevent the allergies from causing so many issues?
While you cannot completely prevent the allergic reactions taking place, you can relieve some of the symptoms. These are eight tips that you will want to follow to manage and relieve your springtime allergies.
Spend More Time in Doors
If you can, keep yourself away from the allergens as much as possible. Every spring, the trees will release pollen into the air. You cannot see the pollen, but it gets into your lungs through your nose and mouth. Irritation, coughing, sneezing, and itching are extremely common when you start suffering from an allergic reaction.
You do not want to spend all your time inside, though, right? It is a case of managing the times that you do decide to go out into the air. Avoid the windy days. This is when more pollen spreads around the area, as it dislodges from the trees and flowers, spreading around the rest of the garden.
When the sky is cloudy but with no wind, then you want to embrace them. The cloud cover helps to prevent the increase in pollen count, reducing the risk of exposure.
Likewise, avoid the mornings when you can. The pollen counts are at the highest this time of day and will slowly lower throughout the day. Early evenings are the best time to get outside. You will still have daylight and warmth but will have a lower risk of allergic reactions.
You will also want to invest in some sunglasses. The pollen can easily get into your eyes, irritating. Even get the feeling of tears running from your eyes for no reason? This is because your eyes have become irritated and the tears are a way of getting rid of the reason for that irritation. However, the allergic reaction remains, so your eyes continually stream. If you can avoid the pollen getting into your eyes, you are one step ahead.
When you come back inside, you will need to wash your skin and hair. The pollen will collect without you realizing, and you could spread it around your home accidentally.
You will also want to keep your clothes inside. While the warmer weather will encourage you to dry your clothes outside and save money on the utility bills, the pollen will collect on the clothes while they are out there. Of course, you do not see the pollen, and you end up bringing it into the home. Even if you shake the clothes before bringing them in, you release the pollen around you and end up breathing it in.
Use Filter Masks When Mowing the Lawn
Your grass grows at an alarming rate in the spring. It is getting the perfect amount of water to do this. While your garden will look beautiful and green, you will know that mowing the lawn more frequently is a requirement. However, this means going out in the garden when the allergens are around, right?
Well, yes. It also means that you will spread the allergens around more. The process of mowing the lawn will mean that you dislodge the pollen and push it up into the air. You create a vacuum that makes it more likely to irritate your skin and lungs.
Instead of just putting up with the allergic reaction, you can take steps to avoid the pollen from irritating you. Filter masks when mowing the lawn are the perfect option. They allow you to breathe but have small enough holes that prevent the pollen getting through. The irritants collect on the outside, and you are left breathing cleaner air.
It is also worth wearing the masks if you are an avid gardener. Again, you dislodge the pollen and are more likely to suffer from irritation. Do not forget about the gardening gloves to prevent the pollen sticking to your hands. Keep the kit in a chest outside, so you do not bring the pollen in the house.
Get Allergy Medication Early
Most people will not opt for allergy medication until they start suffering from reactions. This is not going to do you any good at all. The medication needs to be taken before you start showing symptoms. You will catch the reactions early enough to avoid many of the worst symptoms.
Antihistamines are the best medications to take. You can get them over the counter and they won’t make you feel drowsy, unlike some of the older types of medications available. Antihistamines are also safe for most children to take. They work within the hour and block the response to the allergies, helping to minimize symptoms. If you take them early enough, they will block the symptoms from even occurring.
Take the medication as early as one week before the spring season. Unlike other medications, taking antihistamines as a preventative method instead of a treatment has shown positive results. It can take the medications a day or two to start working. By taking them early, you give them the chance to work effectively from the beginning.
Keep the dose of your medications to a minimum. They can lead to dryness and burning sensations. Some people also experience nosebleeds when taking them. Your body may start to get used to the medication if you take it too regularly, so you will want to consider slowly increasing the amount you take. Switching medication brands can also help.
When you have more serious allergies, talk to your doctor. There may be something on the prescription that can be helpful.
Consider Building Up Your Resistance
Your doctor may be able to give you a treatment that works like a vaccine. It helps you build up your resistance to the pollen, by injecting some of the pollen into your body. Your immune system has a chance to recognize it and work against it.
These shots will take time to work, and they are not guaranteed to work. Some people do have severe reactions depending on the severity of their allergy. You may also find that they do not work in time for the next spring.
The good news is you do not need to get the shot yearly like you do with the flu vaccine. The medication can be given every 3-5 years to help keep your immunity against the pollen allergy.
These types of shots are only available for pollen. You will not be able to get help against other springtime allergens.
Consider Natural Relief Against the Allergies
If you are not too sure about using allergy medications, consider opting for natural relief. Do keep in mind that natural does not always mean it is going to be safe. Some natural ingredients can react with other medications you take. Always talk to your doctor before you consider the alternative options.
Chinese herbal remedy Biminne is a popular option to reduce allergy symptoms. It includes some skullcap and ginkgo biloba and can be found in some Chinese health stores. Studies have shown that patients can take the Biminne five times a day for three months and feel the benefits the next year. So, you can start taking the medication before the spring season to get your body ready. However, some studies show people taking diabetes medication should not take Biminne due to negative effects.
Butterbur is another consideration. Right now, there have been a small number of successful studies, but more research is needed. Some patients have experience allergic reactions to the shrub, especially those who see reactions to marigold and ragweed. Make sure your doctor knows if you are taking this.
Your doctor may be able to suggest other natural remedies to relieve the symptoms and even prevent them.
Quit Smoking to Reduce Symptoms
If you currently smoke, now is the time to quit. Not only are you putting your overall health at risk, but you are making your allergy symptoms worse. Remember that the allergens affect your lungs. They cause inflammation within the bronchial tubes and lungs, causing fluid buildup, itching, and coughing. If you smoke, you are adding more inflammation and irritation to the body.
Smoking just leads to more coughing and liquid. There are links to lung cancer, COPD, and many other lung diseases. You can find yourself at a higher risk of developing pneumonia and bronchitis because your lungs and bronchial tubes are already irritated and swollen.
However, it is not just your smoke that can cause problems. Second-hand smoke is a problem. If someone else in your house smokes, encourage them to quit. If they do not do it for themselves, ask them to do it for you and other allergy sufferers. Some people will not want to quit, so encourage them to smoke outside. Just make sure the window is shut to avoid the smoke coming back into the house.
Invest in the Right Vacuum Cleaner
While you will know vacuuming is important to get rid of pollen and dust mites, you need to get the right type of vacuum cleaner. You want one that has a high-efficiency particulate air (SEPA) filter. While vacuums will pick up the dust and the dirt, it is the filter that helps to prevent the spread of microscopic particles within the air.
When you empty the vacuum cleaner without the filter, the microscopic particles will release back into the air. You end up with the irritation to the lungs after all. When a good filter is in place, the majority of the particles will get captured within it. While some will still end up being released when you empty your vacuum cleaner, there is a slimmer chance of suffering from allergies.
If you really cannot afford to buy a new vacuum cleaner, then you can wear a filter mask when emptying it. This will help to minimize the potential irritation. However, it is worth saving up for a new one.
Install the filters around the rest of your home too. Use them in your air conditioning units and room air filters. The air conditioning units tend to pull air in from the outside, which can mean pulling pollen in at the same time. The filters will collect the majority of the pollen and prevent the spread around your home.
Keep Pets Away from the Furniture
It is time to change the habits of where your pets can go. If you regularly allow them in the bed with you or on the couch, you will find your allergy reactions are much worse.
The pollen, dust, and other particles will get trapped in the pet hairs. These hairs then shed and land on your bed or on your furniture. Even if the hairs do not shed, the friction against your furniture will lead to the pollen dislodging and landing where you sit.
Pet hair is also a problem for the carpet. It is very little you can do about this, so you will need to make sure you vacuum regularly to get rid of any pollen-filled pet hairs from the floor.
Do not forget to bathe your pets regularly, especially during the spring. This will help to get rid of the pollen from the hairs daily.
Prevent the Spread of Pollen to Reduce Allergy Symptoms
While you cannot do much about how your body reacts to pollen, you can minimize the way it reacts. It is time to act against the reason for your allergy symptoms. Minimize the spread of pollen in your home, cutting down on the amount your body must react to.
With a few small changes, you can improve your health. You will breathe easier, have clear nasal passages, and gain a new lease on life. Even if you have a pet, you can keep the spread of pollen to a minimum.