Springtime should be a joyous time of fresh beginnings, whether it’s strolling through botanical gardens or watching blossoming tulips glowing with that young winter-is-over brightness. This is not the time to be covered in snot and crying from allergy and frustration-related tears. You need allergy relief!
Allergies occur when your immune system perceives a (usually harmless) substance as a threat, according to the Mayo Clinic. When this happens, antibodies are produced, and physiological reactions are triggered, resulting in annoying sneezing, itching, watering eyes, and chest tightness symptoms. They can range in severity from moderate to life-threatening (such as anaphylaxis).
Indoor and outdoor airborne components such as pollen, ragweed, mold, dust, grass, and other allergens can produce seasonal allergies. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, allergy season begins in February and lasts until early to mid-summer in much of the United States (ACAAI).
What can you do to get allergy relief?
The good news about seasonal allergies is that the practices listed below can help you feel in control of your symptoms and be more prepared if they appear unexpectedly. These suggestions won’t allow you to stop and smell the flowers, but they will allow you to at least look at them while taking a relaxing walk.
1. See an expert about the best diagnosis and treatment of possible allergic diseases and conditions.
Dr. Richard Guillot, board-certified in Allergy and Immunology, can help you identify the causes of your allergies. When combined with a detailed medical history, allergy testing can help find the specific cause of your allergic reactions. Skin tests or blood allergy tests are convenient and accurate. However, skin tests are usually more comprehensive. Dr. Guillot is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of allergic diseases and conditions such as:
- Asthma and frequent cough
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Sinus infections
- Eye allergies
- Reaction to food, insect stings, and drugs
- Immune system problems that might cause frequent infections
2. Invest in dust-resistant, machine-washable fabrics.
It’s reasonable to differentiate between indoor and outdoor allergies, but keeping outdoor allergens out of your home is key. This is why allergy-proof mattress protectors, pillowcases, and washable curtains are recommended by Bethany’s Allergist. Wash these as soon as allergy season begins, and wash bedding monthly or biweekly. Dr. Guillot also advises keeping pets as far away from the sleeping area as possible.
3. After going outside, wash your caps, clothes, and body.
According to Dr. Wayne Beauford, Bethany Medical’s pulmonologist, garments are like a magnet for microscopic particles of allergy-causing substances like pollen and ragweed. In the spring, it’s a good idea to wash your outerwear sooner than you think you need to. This is especially true for hats because they’re closer to your nose and mouth, where allergens enter the body and create a variety of symptoms.
Additionally, you should avoid sitting on surfaces like your bed or couch while wearing clothes that have been outside all day.
4. Check the weather in your area for seasonal allergy levels.
Preparation is an important part of preventing serious allergy attacks. Check allergy forecasts a week and a few days ahead of time before going to a picnic or other outdoor event. You can use Pollen.com to check the pollen forecast near you! This enables you to take your medication in advance or reschedule or move your gathering to a less allergy-inducing location.
5. Invest in a good air purifier.
All of our specialists suggest that you use an air purifier in your house that filters out your specific allergies, whether they’re pollen, dust, mold, or ragweed. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), air purifiers with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter are often verified by their makers to remove pollen, dust, mold, and germs from the air in your house. Simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions when replacing the filter in these devices. In addition, if dry, dusty air troubles your lungs, you could also invest in a humidifier.
6. Avoid excessive humidity.
Before you add a humidifier to your home, make sure the relative humidity is below 60 percent. The EPA suggests ideal humidity should be between 30 and 50 percent indoors. Relative humidity can be measured with a moisture or humidity meter, a small, inexpensive instrument available at many hardware stores.
On the other hand, if you have mildew allergies, you can acquire a dehumidifier for your home to stay between those suggested percentages. For more moisture and mold prevention and control tips, visit EPA.gov.
Anyone with allergies and asthma should be able to feel good, be active all day, and sleep well at night. You don’t need to accept less. Our allergist, Dr. Richard Guillot, can help you find allergy relief. If you have any of these conditions, make an appointment today!