Ways To Help Relieve Spring Allergies
Spring is around the corner, and along with budding flowers, warmer temperatures and longer days come runny noses and itchy, watery eyes for the millions of Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies.;
Allergies occur when the immune system misidentifies typically harmless substances, such as pollen, as a threat and tries to fight them off. The congestion you experience is your own bodys immune system battling what it perceives as a danger.;
Seasonal allergiesalso called hay fever and allergic rhinitiscan make you miserable. But with proper preparation you can enjoy the great outdoors.;
Here are six strategies to use when battling seasonal allergies.
Putting It All Together
Now that you know way too much about allergies, its time to find a treatment that works for you.
In my case, Lyras allergies are mild and easily treatable.
I give my dog coconut oil and Vitamin E, put aloe vera cream on her coat, and wash her face and body before bed with a wipe. Shes now able to play all day in the sun without a worry!;
This routine of supplements, topical treatments, and washing has worked for Lyra and I hope it will continue to work.
Keep in mind Im not a doctor or vet and I can only tell you whats worked for my dog. What worked for Lyra may not work for you and your canine. Experiment, find a routine that works for you, and get moving!
Clancy Robledo is a dog mom, content marketer, and copywriter living in sunny Austin, TX. When shes not at home blogging, she enjoys hiking with her dog, reading, and playing board games.;
Finding Relief From Seasonal Allergies
Changing seasons bring a wide range of symptoms for allergy sufferers. Learn what you need to know about relieving your seasonal allergy symptoms.
The transition between seasons can be a welcome change of scenery. For many people, though, the weather and foliage is not the only major change that comes from shifting from summer to fall. For some, sniffling, sneezing and watery eyes may accompany them as well.
Seasonal allergies are the bodys reaction to airborne substances. Not everyone experiences seasonal allergies, but for those who do, the symptoms can be as predictable as April showers and May flowers.
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Whether youre a long time allergy sufferer or finding yourself new to the seasonal sniffles, , an allergy and immunology specialist at Michigan Medicine, offers answers to some frequently asked questions about seasonal allergies.
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Hay Fever: Natural Ways To Treat Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
May 30, 2021
What makes spring so beautiful for many people leads to misery for those who suffer from seasonal allergy symptoms. Fresh-cut grass, blooming trees and flowers, and weeds release pollen, causing seasonal allergies in an estimated 40 million to 60 million people each year, or up to 20 percent of people living in certain countries.
Surveys have shown that when left untreated, seasonal allergy symptoms can become pretty miserable, affecting day-to-day activities and sometimes even spurring;asthma attacks. For example, approximately 80 percent of people with asthma also suffer from seasonal allergies.
Treating hay fever symptoms can reduce asthma-related hospitalizations and emergencies.
How do you treat seasonal allergies? The good news is that natural allergy treatments;can be as effective and, in many cases, even more effective than allergy medications.
Some of the best options for managing seasonal allergy symptoms include making changes to your diet to reduce common allergens and inflammatory foods, taking supplements that support your immune system, and ridding your home of allergy triggers.
Tip : Use Nasal Sprays And Steam
For many people, pills will not be enough to manage the many symptoms of seasonal allergies. Nasal sprays, both medicated and nonmedicated, are an important part of managing congestion and post-nasal drip. Nasal steroid sprays relieve inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages caused by allergies. This can help make breathing easier. Saline sprays moisturize dry nasal passages and loosen mucus congestion.
Try a daily steroid nasal spray like fluticasone or triamcinolone acetonide , and consider adding a regular saline nasal spray or a moisturizing spray like Pretz that can be used multiple times per day as needed. Steroid sprays will take a few days to kick in, so consider starting these early along with your antihistamine.
Severe congestion also may warrant the use of steam from a humidifier or steam machine or a neti pot to really clear up accumulation in the nasal cavities and sinuses.
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When To Visit A Dog Dermatologist
If your dogs seasonal allergies are very severe, consider seeing a dog dermatologist.
I know what youre thinking: yes, dog dermatologists are a real thing and can help your pet in a few ways.
Note: a dog dermatologist is the most cost-restrictive method of helping your dog with seasonal allergies. While it might be necessary in some cases, I recommend trying natural remedies and a vet visit before going directly to a specialist.
Stay Indoors On Windy Days
Wind helps carry pollen through the air. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America , pollen can travel up to 400 miles from its original source.
If you suffer from allergies, the best time to be outside is after a rainy day. Rain helps clear the air of pollen by minimizing the pollen count.
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How Can I Help My Dog With Seasonal Allergies
I know what youre thinking: with so many things that dogs can be allergic to, how can I possibly help my dog with their sneezing, coughing, and itchy skin?!
Well, theres good news.
Since a lot of dogs and humans suffer from allergies, there has been a lot of research and time dedicated to this subject.
But, remember: each dog is different and will require a unique treatment for their reaction. Some dogs may exhibit few symptoms, while others will need to see a dermatologist.
Choosing The Right Allergy Medicine
Sometimes, you may need a combination of these medications to resolve all your allergy symptoms, but you should check in with your doctor first.;
If over-the-counter medication doesn’t resolve your allergy symptoms, your doctor may also recommend a stronger version of these drugs, which may require a prescription.;
Make sure that you’re following all the label instructions before taking any medication. While allergy medicine does expire, you may be able to use oral tablets well after the expiration date.;
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Natural Allergy Relief Options
What helps relieve allergies fast? Watching what you eat, getting plenty of fresh air and drinking enough water are some of the natural remedies that can relieve allergies by improving functions of the immune system.
It may take several weeks for your symptoms to subside, but they are likely to be better kept under control when you tackle the root causes. Here are nine ways to get natural allergy relief.
1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory, Alkaline Diet
First and foremost, start eating an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce your risk for allergies and many other health problems.;Caring for your body with nutrient-dense foods gives your immune system the ability to repair itself, bringing it back into balance so it can fight off common allergies in your environment.
Here are some of the best foods and ingredients to incorporate into your diet to help you beat allergies:
Although its not abundant in many foods, vitamin D is also important for immune function and may help manage allergy symptoms. In fact, certain studies have shown that children who live farther from the equator are more likely to develop allergies and suffer higher rates of hospital admissions due to allergic reactions.
You can get enough vitamin D by spending about 15 minutes in the sun most days without sunscreen and by eating foods like whole milk and some mushrooms for natural allergy relief.
2.;Local Raw Honey
3.;Apple Cider Vinegar
6. Stinging Nettle
Supplement Your Dogs Diet
Try giving your dog a natural dietary supplement such as fish oil or a fatty acid such as omega-3 or omega-6 oil to reduce itchiness and improve overall skin health. Coconut oil has also been shown to suppress allergic reactions while contributing to healthier skin. Finally, make sure your dogâs drinking water are kept clean and are free of any contaminants.
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Seasonal Allergies: What You Need To Know
Pollen is an airborne substance that comes from grass, flowering plants, trees, and weeds. In the past 12 months, 19.2 million adults and 5.2 million children under 18 were diagnosed with hay fever, the name given to allergic rhinitis caused by pollen. When someone has hay fever, their immune system identifies pollen as a threat and releases signals that lead to congestion, itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing, as well as problems like sinus pressure and allergic conjunctivitis .
The amount of pollen in the air depends on the season and the geographic area in which you live. The study reported in;PNAS;found the most pronounced effects in Texas and the Midwestern United States. However, the Northeast can have a significant spring allergy season as well, Dr. Leeds says. Tree allergies are especially common in New Englandparticularly due to birch and oak. Pollen allergies can also cause a cross-reaction with certain foods in some people; symptoms include an itchy or tingling mouth and throat after eating raw fruits and vegetables, seeds, and nuts.
People may also have allergic reactions to grass pollen in the late spring to early summer and weed pollen in the fall. Many people are multi-sensitized, so they are allergic to more than one type of pollen, and they can be symptomatic through all of the warm weather seasons, Dr. Leeds says. Pollen can be carried by the wind, so windy days are the worst.
Tip : Use Medications Properly
Some commonly used medications do more harm than good when used incorrectly and you may not know that youre doing so.
The popular nose spray Afrin can work great for clearing up nasal congestion, but if used for longer than three to four days, the nose can become addicted, resulting in a bad rebound congestion that will leave you miserable. Save Afrin for once-in-a-while use, like an hour before a plane flight, which can help with air-pressure changes and their effects on your sinuses and airways. Use other sprays for daily control.
The popular decongestant pill pseudoephedrine has moved behind the counter due to medication abuse, so youll have to ask a pharmacist to dispense this for you. And people with high blood pressure or heart problems should think twice before taking pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, since it can raise blood pressure and cause anxious, jittery feelings similar to a caffeine overdose. Treat it like coffee, and avoid using it after midday. You also should drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have questions or concerns about any allergy medications you use.
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How Do You Treat Allergies
Most allergy sufferers can find relief from over-the-counter allergy medications.
Nasal sprays or intranasal steroid sprays, such as Flonase or Nasacort, are a good first line option because side effects are minimal, consisting mostly of nasal dryness or bleeding for some people.; Its important to note that nasal sprays need to be in your system for a while before taking effect. Expect them to be in your system for up to a week before they really start to kick in.
Over-the-counter antihistamines, such as Zyrtec, Allegra or Claritin, can be a good option if nasal sprays arent effective or if you dont tolerate nasal sprays well. In most cases sprays and antihistamines can be combined when symptoms are especially bad.
If youre still struggling with symptoms after trying out some over the counter medications, it might be time to see an allergy specialist.
At your first appointment youll talk about your medical history and your symptoms and most patients will undergo skin testing. Skin testing involves pricking the skin with a trace amount of different allergens and measuring the skins reaction after about 20 minutes. Your appointment could last a few hours, but youll receive definitive information about what you are allergic to, as well as a personalized treatment plan.
Causes Of Seasonal Allergies
Hay fever happens when your immune system identifies an airborne substance thats usually harmless as dangerous. It responds to that substance, or allergen, by releasing histamines and other chemicals into your bloodstream. Those chemicals produce the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Common triggers of hay fever vary from one season to another.
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Do You Need To Know What Youre Allergic To
Knowing what youre allergic to may be less important than remembering when your symptoms tend to flare up so you can plan ahead before symptoms really kick-in.
If youre dealing with mild allergy symptoms, you may be able to find relief through over-the-counter therapies without knowing exactly what youre reacting to.;;
For more persistent or bothersome symptoms, it can be more important to know specifically what you are allergic to. Allergy testing in a clinic setting can help you narrow down what triggers your symptoms, what type of medications will work best for you and advice on when to take them. You also may walk away with suggestions on things you can change in your home environment or ways to minimize issues in the future like not rolling around in leaf piles during the fall!
Risks And Side Effects
While most of the supplements and tips described above can provide;natural allergy relief safely, there are some precautions to keep in mind.
When allergies are mild or moderate, they are usually not very threatening and go away with time. However, severe allergic reactions can be dangerous and require medical attention.
Anaphylaxis is the term for;a;severe allergic reaction, which can happen due to contact with;food allergens, drugs/medications or;insect stings. Symptoms usually affect the lungs, blood vessels or heart and can include:
- trouble breathing
If you or your child experience these symptoms, head to your doctor or the emergency room right away to prevent complications.
What can you do for severe allergies? Your doctor may need to prescribe allergy shots or prescription asthma medications, such as bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids.
Discuss these options with your health care provider, and consider trying the natural allergy relief remedies described above in addition to using medications.
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Ways To Relieve Your Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies can cause a range of agonizing symptoms, including sinus pressure, coughing, sneezing, headaches, itchy skin and scratchy throat. While modern medications offer some relief, most people have the greatest success when they take special steps to avoid allergens. If dust, pollen and mold have sent you in search of seasonal allergy relief, reduce your exposure using the following strategies.
How Can I Get Relief From Spring Allergies
One of the best ways to manage your spring allergy symptoms is to see a board-certified allergist. An allergist can help you come up with a plan to treat your allergies.
Your allergy treatment plan may involve:
- Taking allergy medicines, like antihistamines, before your allergy season begins
- Using a nasal corticosteroid sprays
- An immunotherapy option for your type of allergy
Check pollen counts at the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology so you can avoid outdoor activities on days when counts are high. You can also check pollen forecasts on Pollen.com.
Also, follow these tips to control pollen in your home and prevent bringing it into your home when after you spend time outside:
- Keep windows closed.
- Use central air conditioning with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® HVAC filter, if possible.
- Remove your shoes before entering your home.
- Take a shower and shampoo your hair before bed.
- Change and wash your clothes after being outdoor.
- Dry laundry in a clothes dryer or on an indoor rack, not on an outdoor line.
- Clean pollen off pets with a towel before they come in your home.
- Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.
- Use a nasal rinse to flush out inhaled pollen out of your nose.
To reduce your exposure to pollen when you are outside:
You dont have to dread spring allergies. With the right treatment, you can manage your spring allergies and still enjoy the season.
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Know What To Do When Allergies Strike
Allergens can sneak into your life on your daily walk, a plate of food, or anywhere in between.;You might be born with them or develop them years down the line. Knowing what to do when;you or someone you know is having an allergy attack could be the difference between life and;death.;
When experiencing serious allergy symptoms, heading to your local Urgency Room could bring;you relief faster than you thought possible. Our skilled and experienced emergency physicians;and nurses are well trained to care for serious allergic reactions. At the UR, we treat the allergy;symptoms. Treating and allergic reaction does not require any testing and we do not do allergy;testing. Were dedicated to helping you return to your healthy self as soon as possible.;
You dont have to suffer through your allergies alone. Get the care you need now and the tools;you need to avoid future allergy attacks. The Urgency Room operates three convenient;Minnesota locations in Eagan, Vadnais Heights, and Woodbury. Were open 365 days per year;from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., including holidays. When minutes matter, especially during an allergy;attack, get to The Urgency Room.