Spring is a beautiful time full of new flowers at Bartram’s Garden and evening thunderstorms. But for many, it is also a season of runny noses, sneezes and itchy eyes. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be. We provide tips for preventing spring allergy symptoms below.
What Causes Allergy Symptoms?
Your immune system works to protect your body from diseases, viruses and infections. But for people with allergies, their immune system mistakes harmless substances such as pollen as a dangerous intruder. These triggering substances are known as allergens.
In order to fight off the intruder, your immune system releases antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE), which causes your cells to release histamine. Histamine can increase your mucus production and cause swelling and itching; this is what causes your allergy symptoms.
How to Prevent Exposure to Allergens
To reduce your allergy symptoms, the best thing you can do is avoid allergens. While it’s not possible to fully avoid all allergens, there are ways to reduce your exposure:
- Stay inside on dry or windy days. The best days to spend time outdoors are after it has rained, as this settles the pollen. Avoid windy days because allergens can be carried on wind for miles.
- Check your local forecast to see when pollen counts are high, and be sure to spend those days indoors. Avoid going outside in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.
- After spending time outside, rinse off in the shower and change your clothes right away.
- Don’t hang your laundry outside, or else you’ll be bringing pollen and other allergens inside along with it.
- Delegate outdoor chores to people without allergies, or hire a professional. If you have to do your own yard work, wear a pollen mask.
How to Reduce Indoor Allergens
You can also take measures to reduce allergens inside your home:
- Keep your windows closed on days and times with high pollen counts.
- If you have air conditioning, turn it on. Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and replace them regularly.
- Use a portable HEPA filter in your bedroom if you don’t have air conditioning.
- Vacuum your carpet and wash your bedding at least once a week.
- Bathe pets regularly, but no more than once a week.
For more information about how to manage allergy symptoms or to schedule an appointment with an allergy expert, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today.