5 Ways to Reduce Your Pollen Allergies
Most people look forward to the spring and summer months, when the earth displays its splendor in beautiful flowers and lush foliage. Unfortunately, for individuals who suffer from allergies and respiratory problems, the months of March through September typically represent a time of increased production of allergens as the pollen count rises. Flowers, trees, grasses, and weeds all produce different types of pollen.
How individuals react to each kind of pollen depends on their level of sensitivity, and often includes a range of symptoms, including sneezing and runny, congested nose; wheezing, congestion, and sore throat; itchy, watery eyes; and headache and sinus pressure.
Mold, dust and dust mites, and pet dander also contribute to the production of allergens. In addition to natural irritants, man-made pollution also typically increases during warm weather, as people are more active and do more traveling. All these factors contribute to causing allergy sufferers to look for ways to find relief.
5 Ways to Reduce Your Allergic Reactions
Are you one of the millions of people who suffer from pollen allergies? The most common type of allergy is known as hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, and is usually the result of heightened sensitivity to pollen. While you can't totally escape exposure to pollen, there are ways you can reduce your allergic reactions, in order to receive some measure of relief.
- Shower or bathe before going to bed: This may seem simplistic, but you can diminish the effects of allergens by washing pollen out of your hair and off your skin.
- Avoid going outside, or keep windows closed, on windy days: This may not always be possible, but be aware that wind and air currents are primary culprits in blowing pollen and other allergens around. If you have observed the nasty yellow coating of pollen on your car, porch, or steps, you know this represents a significant health risk as it increases your allergic reactions.
- Install an air filtration or air purification system in your home: High quality air filters in your air conditioner can trap and retain even tiny particles of the offending pollen and other irritants. Air purifiers begin with air filters and add activated carbon to the system. In addition to performing the same function of trapping allergens, the carbon serves to remove additional contaminants and pollution, resulting in cleaner, purer air for you to breathe.
- Use nasal spray and eye drops: Since pollen and other allergens primarily attack your nose and eyes first, these two preventative measures can help reduce your allergic reactions. The nasal spray will help flush out any allergens you have breathed in, and may even reduce sinus infections. Similarly, eye drops can flush out irritants, as well as relieve itchy eyes.
- Get allergy shots: Also known as immunotherapy, this method may be a "last resort" if other treatments are not effective enough to relieve all your allergy symptoms. When you and your doctor determine the specific allergens that affect you, he or she may recommend this course of action to help alleviate your allergic reactions. Be prepared for this process, as the length of time to complete treatment varies, depending on the severity of your allergic sensitivity. In fact, your doctor may recommend that you continue receiving allergy shots as a lifetime preventative measure.
Remember to always seek advice from your doctor about the best way to treat your allergies. He or she will know what should work most effectively for you, including whether a home air filtration or air purification system may supplement other treatments, to ensure the greatest measure of relief from your allergic reactions.
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