Goodbye winter blues, hello sunshine.
After the long winter months, most are embracing the warmer weather. But with the flowers in bloom and pollen in the air, even spring and summer can be a headache for the millions of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies and have to contend with itchy, watery eyes, runny noses and inflamed sinuses.
While there is no cure for seasonal allergies, you can alleviate symptoms with proper prevention and treatment. Cleaning up, changing air conditioner filters and evaluating your diet are some of the steps you can take to help to manage allergies.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of Americathere is no cure for allergies, but they can be managed with proper prevention and treatment. While consulting your physician for over-the-counter medications, prescription medications and shots are options to help manage moderate to severe seasonal allergies, there are things you can do on your own to alleviate allergy symptoms:
• Keep your windows shut. By leaving windows open, you are welcoming allergens, or foreign substances such as airborne pollen that trigger allergic reactions, into your house.
• Purchase special air conditioning filters: Air conditioners have a filter to trap allergens, and you can buy special filters designed to snag more of them. Change them regularly for best results.
• Check your diet. In about a third of those with seasonal allergies, certain foods contain proteins that cause similar allergic reactions to those found in pollen. People with ragweed allergies may react adversely to watermelon, cantaloupe and honey-dew melon. Those with birch tree pollen allergies may react to kiwifruit, apples, pears, coriander, parsley, celery, carrots, and almonds.
• Clean Up. Taking a shower at night washes pollen away and helps you avoid sleeping in allergen spores that can cause you to wake up congested. Keep your nose clean too. Pollen clings to the mucus in nasal passages, so you should rinse inside your nose daily. You also should clean your eyeglasses frequently and wash bedding and clothing as often as possible. Pets also track allergens into the house, so be sure to wipe their fur with a wet rag.
Learn more about managing seasonal allergies on the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s website.