Quick Fixes For Seasonal Allergies
Did you know? Allergies are one of the leading chronic illnesses in the United States and affect about 50 million people each year.
Seasonal allergies typically ramp up in early March and run through fall depending on where you live in the country. Southern states may see allergy season begin earlier in February. Here are some quick tips for allergy relief.
- Use antihistamines.
Histamine is a chemical found in some of your bodys cells. Its involved in the creation of many allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, or a runny nose. Antihistamines stop the production of histamine, which may then provide you with relief from symptoms.
Oral antihistamines come in many forms such as tablets, capsules, liquids, and more. You can talk to a doctor on LiveHealth Online for advice on which medicine to try. Its important to note that some antihistamines can make you drowsy.
- Try decongestants or nasal sprays.
Do you need assistance distinguishing between allergies and a cold? Check out the differences in symptoms.
- Keep the windows closed.
Try to keep your windows closed if youre experiencing allergies. This can be tough to do if the weather in your area is nice and sunny, but closed windows will help prevent pollen and other allergens from being brought indoors. A good rule of thumb is to stay inside with shut windows when pollen counts are high. Many weather or allergy smartphone apps can keep you updated on allergen levels in your area.
- Talk to a doctor on LiveHealth Online.
Remove Pollen From Clothing And Bodies
Once your children are done playing outside, you should do your best to keep the outdoors out. That means changing out of and washing pollen-dusted clothes.
You should also encourage showering or bathing in order to clean the pollen off your childs hair and exposed skin. Your child can also wear a washable hat or handkerchief over their hair when outside to reduce exposure. If a shower isnt in the cards, remember to wash your childs hands, face, and other exposed areas when back indoors.
What Is The Difference Between Seasonal Allergies And Covid
COVID-19 has made everyone more aware of every little cough or throat tickle. It is important to understand the difference between seasonal allergies and COVID-19.
People with COVID-19 or seasonal allergy symptoms may experience:
- Shortness of breath
Itchiness of the nose, eyes or skin is a common allergy symptom, but not a COVID-19 symptom.
A fever, nausea and vomiting, muscle aches, headache, or loss of taste or smell are more indicative of a COVID-19 infection.
We have developed a helpful chart to help see the difference between COVID-19, allergies, and the flu.
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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
5. Neti Pot
6. Stinging Nettle
Symptoms Of Allergic Rhinitis
Sneezing, coughing, and nasal congestion are some of the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis. If youre suffering from seasonal allergies in Florida, youve likely experienced these symptoms as well:
- runny nose This symptom is caused by excess mucus in the nasal passages. It can accompany a stuffy head, which headaches and other pains may accompany.
- watery eyes This is another common symptom associated with swelling in the sinuses due to allergic reactions. While your eyes might feel itchy at times, they might also become red and irritated, and watery if there is any discharge from them that makes them feel heavy.
- sneezing Sneezing is often associated with seasonal allergies because its one way for people suffering from it to try getting rid of what they think might be happening inside their bodies. However, this isnt always effective since pollen particles can remain even after sneezing several times within an hour or so after being exposed to them initially.
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What Causes Seasonal Allergies
Airborne agents , such as pollen, grass, mold, cedar, ragweed, or even some chemicals, are breathed in. Once they enter our bodies, these allergens start to wreak havoc. The immune system mistakenly sees the pollen as a danger and releases antibodies that attack the allergens and release a chemical called histamine into the nose, eyes, and lungs. Histamine is intended to attack harmful agents and remove them from the body. One of the main things that histamine does is cause inflammation.
The good news is there are many natural remedies you can try to control your allergy symptoms:
How Do You Get Rid Of Seasonal Allergies Permanently
Unfortunately, theres no way to get rid of seasonal allergies permanently. But that doesnt mean you have to tolerate incessant sneezing, coughing or watery eyes. You have a better fighting chance with Breathe-X on your team.
Its time to finally breathe easy during allergy season. Its time to try Breathe-X.
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How Are Seasonal Allergies Treated
There are many ways to treat seasonal allergies, depending on how bothersome the symptoms are. An important part of treatment is knowing what someone is allergic to. Some kids can get relief by reducing or eliminating exposure to the allergens that bother them.
If certain seasons cause symptoms, keep the windows closed, use air conditioning instead of fresh air when possible, and stay indoors when pollen counts are high. It’s also a good idea for kids with seasonal allergies to wash their hands or shower and change clothes after playing outside.
If reducing exposure isn’t possible or doesn’t help, doctors may recommend medicines for allergy symptoms. These can include oral, nasal, and ocular antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays. If these don’t help or a child has to take multiple medicines to ease symptoms, the doctor may recommend seeing an allergist. The allergist can decide whether allergy shots could help.
Hay Fever Symptoms From Pollen Allergies
Hay fever may also be referred to as seasonal allergic rhinitis, if the symptoms appear only when it is pollen season. Hay fever originally only referred to allergies caused by grass pollens, but the term is now also used to describe the symptoms of rhinitis . This can occur throughout the year.
Allergies to pollen commonly cause symptoms of hay fever including:
- runny, itchy, congested nose
- irritable, itchy, watery and red eyes
- itchy ears, throat and palate.
People with hay fever are more likely to develop sinus infections, and can have interrupted sleep that leads to extreme tiredness. Severe hay fever symptoms can affect learning in children and productivity in adults. Hay fever can also make it more difficult to control asthma in those who are more likely to get it.
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How Do You Treat Seasonal Allergies
In combination with taking steps to limit your childs exposure to allergy triggers, there are many safe, effective allergy medicines that target specific symptoms your child is struggling with the most.
Most allergy medications are now over-the-counter and generally fall into the categories of oral antihistamines, nose sprays and eye drops. Below are some key things to know about each type. Be sure to talk to your pediatrician or nurse practitioner about the best options for your child.
Important note: Read labels carefully for the active ingredient and do not give your child more than one oral antihistamine at a time unless under the direction of a healthcare provider. However, most eye drops and nose sprays can be given together along with an oral antihistamine.
Tips For Surviving Allergy Season
Its spring, the weathers getting warmer, and flowers are starting to bloom. For many, its the most blissful time of year. But for those 50 million Americans who suffer from nasal allergies, not so much.
When spring weather hits, all you can think about is how to stop sneezing! The new beginnings of allergy season are often accompanied by red eyes and a stuffy nose. Kleenex, anyone?
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Top Tips To Limit Seasonal Allergies
The best way to limit your symptoms is to try and prevent them from occurring in the first place. When pollen counts are high, this can seem like an impossible task but with a bit of careful planning and good old-fashioned know-how, it can be done. And, more importantly, it can have a significant effect on your comfort and well-being during the dreaded pollen season.
What The Science Says
Complementary approaches can be classified by their primary therapeutic input , which may be:
- Psychological .
- Combinations such as psychological and physical or psychological and nutritional .
Nutritional approaches include what NCCIH previously categorized as natural products, whereas psychological and/or physical approaches include what was referred to as mind and body practices.
Many complementary health approaches have been studied for allergic rhinitis. Thereâs some evidence that a few may be helpful.
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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.
Home Remedies During The Allergy Season
- keep your windows closed. If you cant do this, a HEPA filter will help keep the dust and pollen out of your home.
- wash bedding frequently, especially if it is down or similar materials are great at holding on to allergens.
- use a humidifier instead of a dehumidifier during the winter months to help avoid dry sinuses and skin. If you already have one in place, clean out the tub and cartridge frequently. This will remove mold spores that may cause allergies and bacteria that could make you sick by growing in those places where moisture collects inside the machine .
- avoid cleaning chemicals containing alcohols like ethanol and benzene because they can trigger reactions from people who are sensitive to them directly through contact with their skin.
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I Have Bad Seasonal Allergies What Are My Options
There is no reason to suffer even if your symptoms are really awful. If you have tried many over-the-counter options and are getting little-to-no relief, make an appointment with a board-certified allergist. Discuss prescription medications as well as allergen immunotherapy.
While these options may not eliminate your symptoms, they can help reduce them to a manageable level.
What Is An Allergy Test
An allergist performs tests to pinpoint the cause of your allergic reactions.
There are two kinds of tests:
- Skin tests: The doctor pricks the surface of the skin, usually on the upper arm, and injects a tiny amount of suspected allergens. If an allergy exists, the skin will react by becoming inflamed, red and swollen, which may cause temporary discomfort. Skin tests give fast resultsusually within a half hour or 24 to 48 hours.
- Blood tests: Blood is drawn and sent to a lab. The disadvantage is that it may take several days for the results to come back. However, more allergens can be tested with blood tests than with skin tests, Blood tests are used to identify seasonal allergies as well as perennial allergies, plus allergies to food, medications, and insect bites or stings. If you have chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, blood tests are recommended instead of skin tests to prevent further irritation.
Its important to tell your allergist about any medications you are taking because some can compromise your allergy test results.
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How To Help Relieve And Treat Your Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
While you cant prevent seasonal allergies altogether, you can reduce your exposure to allergens and the impact of them.
Some the easiest lifestyle solutions for seasonal allergies involve trying to avoid your triggers, whatever the time of year. A few ways you might be able to do this include8:
- Staying inside on dry, windy days when the pollen count may be high
- Washing clothes and showering after being outside, to rinse off allergens
- Closing doors and windows at night
- Using air conditioning at home and in your car a HEPA filter can help
There are also various over-the-counter, non-prescription medications that might help ease your symptoms8. Treatments you can try to provide seasonal allergy relief can include9,10:
- Antihistamines medications such as the active ingredient cetirizine, which is used to block or reduce histamines that cause symptoms.
- these can provide temporary relief from nasal stuffiness, and are often available as tablets, liquids or nasal sprays
- Combination medications certain types of allergy medication combine antihistamines and decongestants to relieve more symptoms at once, such as ZYRTEC-D®
- Immunotherapy a seasonal allergy shot that aims to help your body develop immunity or tolerance to the allergen
- Nasal corticosteroids these nasal sprays work to reduce inflammation and allergy symptoms
If you have questions about the best way to relieve your worst allergy symptoms, talk to your doctor.
How Can You Prevent Them
Seasonal allergies, such as hay fever , are often caused by being exposed to pollen. To reduce your exposure:
- Keep your house and car windows closed.
- Limit the time you spend outside when pollen counts are high .
- Wear a pollen mask or dust mask if you need to mow the lawn.
- Limit your mowing tasks if you can.
- Rinse your eyes with cool water or saline eyedrops to remove clinging pollen after you come indoors.
- Take a shower and change your clothes after you work or play outside.
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Can Babies Have Seasonal Allergies
Seasonal allergies are very rare in babies. Most children dont develop them until at least age 3 or later. By then they have lived through several allergy seasons and experienced repeat allergen exposures.
If you are concerned that your baby may have allergies, schedule an appointment with a pediatrician or allergist. Do not give any over-the-counter allergy medications to your baby without first talking to your childs doctor.
Reviewed by:Bradley Chipps, MD, FACAAI, is a board-certified allergist and pediatric pulmonologist with Capital Allergy and Respiratory Disease Center in Sacramento, California. He earned his medical degree from University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1972. He is Past President of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology .
8229 Boone Blvd, Suite 260,Vienna, VA 22182
How To Tell If Your Child Has Allergies
If you notice your child feels crummy for long periods of time especially if those crummy-feeling periods occur around the same time every year seasonal allergies are likely to blame, because different allergens peak at different times. If your child tends to experience allergy symptoms such as sniffles in the spring, tree pollen may be to blame, whereas in summer grass pollen may be the culprit. In the fall, ragweed pollen is the most common allergen trigger. Although pollen is at its low point in winter, certain allergens including mold and cedar can affect your child. You can learn more about reducing your childs indoor allergy symptoms here.
Kids can get allergies at any age toddlers may begin to show allergy symptoms as young as 2 years old.1If you have allergies, its even more likely that your child could suffer from seasonal allergies: Up to 80 percent of children who have parents with allergies develop them too.2But even with no family history, about 12 percent of children still experience the aggravating, bothersome symptoms that accompany seasonal allergies.
In short, no matter the season and no matter your genes, allergies can be a fact of life. When left untreated, allergies can leave your child in significant discomfort, resulting in poor sleep, compromised attention, missed activities, and sick days from school.4
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