Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the US, affecting over 50 million people. The trend shows allergies are increasing. While there is no cure for allergies, they can be prevented, treated, and managed.
Protecting Yourself from Seasonal Allergies
For some people, certain substances cause the immune system to react which is known as an allergic reaction. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, a scratchy throat, itchy eyes, and congestion. Severe cases may include hives, rashes, breathing issues, dips in blood pressure and can even be fatal. If you or a family member experience symptoms of allergies, don’t ignore them. Get started with the following guide to managing seasonal allergies:
1) Know your allergies
Allergies can mimic symptoms of a virus or the common cold. If you have congestion without a fever or achy body, it could be an allergic reaction. If you stay congested for more than 2 weeks or have thin, clear mucus, it could be allergies. If you notice your symptoms worsen when exposed to known allergy triggers, it’s likely you have allergies. Talk to your doctor about allergy testing to determine exactly what you’re allergic to so you know what to avoid.
2) Try salt water
Gargling with salt water is a great way to ease congestion and it also helps if your throat is scratchy or sore. You can also use a nasal saline rinse to lessen congestion in your sinus cavities.
3) Change your outerwear
It’s hard to know what you come into contact with when you’re spending time outdoors. In order to avoid bringing allergens into your home, leave your shoes at the door and change your outside/work clothes as soon as you come inside. Be sure to bathe at night before you climb into bed.
4) Stay indoors
Sometimes it may be difficult to avoid going outside, but try to remain indoors when the pollen counts are the highest. That’s usually between 10am and 4pm on high pollen days. Stay in tuned with your local news to know the pollen counts each day. Plan your outdoor activities in other parts of the day, or move them indoors if possible.
5) Use your windows
Keep your windows closed and use your AC instead to keep allergens from entering your home. However, if you’re allergic to indoor allergens such as dust and mold, open your windows and let the fresh air in. This will help to clear allergens out of your home.
6) Wear a mask
When spending time outdoors, whether gardening or doing yard work or other chores and outdoor activities, wear a mask. This will effectively minimize your exposure to pollen particles in the air.
7) Take symptoms seriously
You should never take your allergy symptoms lightly. They can wreak havoc on your work and personal life, making you miserable and impeding progress in daily tasks. Get plenty of sleep, drink a lot of water, and let your body recover. If symptoms persist, take a day off work and allow your mind and body to rest. Your doctor can help you determine which type of allergy treatment is best for you.
Feel Better, Live Better
Seasonal allergies don’t affect everyone, but they affect many people. Allergy symptoms can make life absolutely miserable, but they don’t have to. Use this guide and talk to your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you and your family members.