Spring Allergy Solutions To Try At Home
If pollen is an allergy trigger for you, the best thing that you can do is avoid it. Of course, thats a lot easier said than done whether you live in a rural town or a major city, youre going to come into contact with pollen every time you step outside.
While you cant escape outdoor allergens, you can take steps to keep them out of your home and reduce your exposure.
Start by keeping track of pollen counts. Check your local weather station or a trusted national source like AAAAI before you plan your day, then take the following precautions:
- Keep your doors and windows closed when pollen counts are high.
- Set car and home air conditioning systems to recirculate indoor air.
- During allergy season, wash your bedding and vacuum carpets more frequently to remove any lingering pollen.
- Change your clothing and/or shower after spending a lot of time outdoors.
- Dry clothes in a drying machine instead of hanging them up outdoors on a line or rack.
- Take your shoes off at the door to avoid tracking pollen into your home.
- Do most of your outdoor activities in the morning and evening, as pollen counts tend to peak around midday.
Climate Change And Allergies
The impact of climate change has become a dangerous cycle. Rising global temperatures lead to more extreme weather. Weather changes such as heat waves and droughts can lead to a lack of air flow. When the air doesnt move, pollutants react together in the heat and sun. This increases ground-level ozone.1
Ground-level ozone is a major part of urban smog. More air pollution and smog cause higher levels of carbon dioxide . This results in warmer temperatures. And the cycle continues.
This cycle results in increased pollen. This can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms. Rising CO2 levels lead to longer growing seasons that change flowering time and increase pollen. The length of the growing season refers to the number of days when plant growth takes place. Warmer, longer seasons increase exposure to allergens that trigger asthma and other respiratory and allergic responses.2
If we dont slow down the cycle, pollen production and air pollution will only get worse. Millions of people already have seasonal allergic rhinitis, and pollen allergies are a major cause. If this cycle continues, we may see the number of people with seasonal allergies increase.
Our Allergy Capitals report is an independent research project of AAFA.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, . . Retrieved from allergycapitals.com.
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Using The Wrong Air Filter
Air filters can help purify the air and get rid of pollen in your home or office, but only if you choose the correct one.
There are two types of air cleaners: portable air cleaners and central furnace, or HVAC, filters. Portable air cleaners filter the air in one room, while central furnace filters treat air throughout an entire home. Inexpensive central furnace and air conditioning filters, however, don’t always do the trick. In fact, not replacing them often enough could make your allergies worse.
If you have a forced air heating or cooling system in your home, consider using high-efficiency filters and stick to a regular maintenance schedule. Placing a portable high-efficiency particulate air filter in your bedroom or using a dehumidifier can also help.
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These horrifying pollen clouds remind us it’s allergy seasonPollen count is ticking up as spring returns, but there are ways to prevent the worst of your seasonal allergies. A gigantic tornado of Yellow Journalism? You don’t say? TuesdayThoughts TuesdayMotivation
Doctors warn of high pollen counts this allergy seasonThis years battle has already begun for 50,000,000 Americans with nasal allergies. Doctors recommend getting allergy tests now so they know exactly what to treat. . My nose is like a damn leaky faucet! Love spring. Hate the allergies. Bahar balad polen kökenli allerjik nezleler artacak
Why allergy season can be crippling for people with lung issuesThe spring and fall can be tough for anyone with seasonal allergies, but it can be ‘doubly difficult’ for those with underlying lung conditions like asthma and COPD.
Indoor Sources Of Allergy
Since the advent of the global COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have been spending a lot more time indoors. The pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds is typically much less when indoors, but allergens from dust, mold spores, and pet dander are more prevalent.
These allergens can be particularly insidious because unlike pollen outdoors, we may inhale dust, mold, or dander for the many hours we spend sleeping. A significant portion of the physical weight of our bedding is composed of dust, the mites that live in the dust, and their droppings that cause allergies in tens of millions of people. Reduce dust mite allergens by monitoring moisture levels, removing porous materials where they can live, and using dust mite-proof bedding that does not allow them to crawl into the mattress or pillow and set up a home.
Mold spores are everywhere and grow easily indoors where they can find moisture and nutrients. Mold allergy is implicated in as many as 20% of allergy clinic patients and some reports say up to 80% of people with asthma are allergic to mold. Once established, a mold colony can create many thousands of spores and do its best to spread them all over the space it occupies. The growth of mold can be curbed by keeping the relative humidity below 80%, and if you find mold in your home contact a professional who can remove it without spreading the spores. These professionals know how to look for spots that new colonies may have cropped up.
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Allergies Affect The Whole Immune System
With growing pollen seasons and more time spent indoors, people who suffer from allergies will want to think about ways to best reduce their exposure. This is particularly true for those of us with asthma, because as few as 30 grains of grass pollen per cubic meter can increase asthma hospital admissions.
When the body has an allergic reaction to pollen, that means the immune system is using valuable energy stores and chemicals that could be used against actual pathogens. Allergic reactions can weaken defenses against real infections, respiratory and otherwise. So taking care of your allergies is a good overall wellness plan.
Humanitys Fingerprints Are Becoming More Visible In The Pollen
Attribution is the growing climate science field that seeks to figure out not just how the climate is changing but also to what extent human activity is specifically to blame and what amount of change might have occurred otherwise, without human meddling. Scientists use observations and models to figure out how phenomena ranging from extreme flooding to wildfires would be different if humans werent spewing gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Think of it as looking at a baseball player before and after they start using steroids, said Lewis Ziska, an associate professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.
Researchers have now begun to attribute changes in allergens to human activity. In a study published in February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Ziska, Anderegg, and their colleagues calculated that human impacts on the climate account for roughly half of the increase in the length of pollen seasons in North America. Human-caused climate change also accounts for 8 percent of the observed increases in pollen concentrations.
There is a very distinct climate signal that is appearing that we can directly associate with these changes in pollen, both with respect to load how much pollen but also with respect to the entire exposure time, Ziska said.
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Give Your Sinuses A Bath
For a medication-free option, consider nasal irrigation. The practice traces back thousands of years to the Ayurvedic medical traditions of India and its effectiveness is backed by research. To try it yourself, use a neti pot, bulb syringe or squeeze bottle and pour a saline solution in one nostril, letting it drain out the other.
It seems like a simple concept, but it helps flush out mucus, pollen and other allergens in your nasal cavity, said Dr. Laura Chong, an allergist at the Oklahoma Allergy & Asthma Clinic in Oklahoma City.
The result is that you feel less congested and you may need less allergy medication, Dr. Chong said.
Reduce Pollen At Home
Avoid bringing pollen back inside after youve been outdoors. Take your shoes off and change your clothes when you get home. Shower before going to bed to remove pollen from your body. And dont have your furry pets sleep with you, Dr. Hong said. Even if youre not allergic to your pets, there is pollen on their coats.
In order to sleep better, you can try zipping up your mattress and pillows in hypoallergenic encasements, washing bedding in hot soapy water once a week and using a dryer instead of a clothesline.
Dr. Hong also recommended cleaning and replacing your air-conditioner filter with one that has a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value of 11 or higher. These filters are capable of capturing tiny pollen particles. If you have severe allergies, you may even want to splurge for a professional-style HEPA filter in your bedroom. HEPA filters typically have a MERV rating of 17 or higher and remove 99 percent of pollen, as well as animal dander, dust and other particles.
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When To See A Doctor
Allergy symptoms in the morning can also disrupt the quality of your sleep at night. See a doctor if youre unable to control allergy symptoms on your own or if you have severe symptoms.
You might need a prescription medication or allergy testing to determine the cause of symptoms and to rule out other problems.
Talk To Your Doctor About Allergy Medications
Like any drug, allergy meds can interact with others youre on or cause side effects, including drowsiness, prostate problems, brain fog and heart issues, in certain underlying conditions, Parikh says. So, while there are a lot of good options available OTC, that doesnt mean theyre automatically safe for you. All these meds are not necessarily benign. I would not wing it, Dvorin says. Chat with your doc first.
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When To Start Taking An Allergy Medication
Allergies can make you feel just as badly as if you had a nasty cold. Dont wait until you start experiencing symptoms to take medication, especially with allergy season coming earlier and earlier each year.
Certain nasal sprays such as nasal steroids may take days or even weeks to start working. Other medications, such as Afrin, shouldnt be used for more than a few days at a time read over the counter labels carefully and, as always, consult an allergist if youre ever unsure.
Unfortunately, as long as global temperatures are predicted to rise, spring allergy season is only going to get worse. But by taking a proactive approach to treatment, youll be able to keep your worst symptoms at bay.
Looking for an allergist in the Tampa Bay area? Dr. Daniel Reichmuth helps patients in Land O Lakes, Zephyrhills, Wiregrass, and the surrounding areas manage their seasonal allergies, as well as chronic year-round allergies, food allergies, and insect allergies. Request an appointment with Dr. Reichmuth at Florida Medical Clinic today to find a solution for your most stubborn symptoms.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always talk with your doctor before starting or stopping medications.
Letting Furry Friends Sleep In Your Bed
Sure, you love your pets, and snuggling up with them in bed can be cozy. But this tempting habit could be making your allergies worse. Pollen can settle into your pets’ fur, triggering symptoms. Keep your pets out of your bed, or better yet, keep them out of your bedroom altogether.
If your symptoms are particularly bothersome, restricting pets to certain rooms so they can’t wander can help reduce the spread of potential allergens. These steps may be helpful but they’re not foolproof. Allergens can still spread beyond the rooms that pets occupy. If you have pets and you also suffer from seasonal allergies, it’s also a good idea to bathe or groom them at least once a week.
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Can You Have Seasonal Allergies All Year
The allergic reaction for mold spores and pollen from plants and grass usually results from allergies to seasonal or perennial allergies.Ragweed tends to be responsible for a high number of seasonal allergies.Those allergies, by contrast, are not entirely seasonal, as they occur over a long period of time.
How Do You Get Rid Of Seasonal Allergies Permanently
At present, allergies are not treated any better.Symptoms of these illnesses can be relieved by using either OTC or prescription drugs.By minimizing contact with allergy triggers and reducing allergy triggers, we may help reduce allergic reactions.The severity of an allergic reaction could be decreased over time as a result of immunotherapy.
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Manage Your Allergy Symptoms
While there are changes you can make to your day-to-day activities to decrease your pollen exposure, medication remains a mainstay of allergy treatment. Still, the last thing you may want to do is to add another tablet to your pillbox. So its important to find the right medication strategy to manage your symptoms. Start with a nasal steroid spray, such as fluticasone , triamcinolone or . These reduce nasal swelling and mucous to clear your sinuses, and are known to stop the immune response called by allergies and prevent severe symptoms, says Donald Dvorin, M.D., an allergist in Mt. Laurel Township, New Jersey. Ideally, theyre started in advance of when symptoms normally start, as they can take a week to work. Use these daily and as directed . Shooting this up your nose may not be the most pleasant sensation, but consistency is key.
As for which one to choose, Dvorin says that some sensitive patients find Flonase irritating because it contains alcohol, so try Nasacort first. One note : These are different than oxymetazoline , a nasal congestion spray. Nasal steroid sprays can be used long-term, whereas you should not use Afrin for more than three consecutive days, otherwise rather paradoxically congestion could get worse.
Are Our Allergies Getting Worse
The year may have only just begun, but many of us are already looking forward to spring. It being just around the corner may conjure up pleasant thoughts of warmer weather and flowers blooming. But for some, it brings up unpleasant memories of itchy, watery eyes and runny noses.
Plenty of hay fever sufferers say that their symptoms get worse every year. But is hay fever actually getting worse or is it just the individuals reaction that gets worse?
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Will You Get More Allergies
If your allergy symptoms seem worse, there could be another reason. You might now have a second allergy — or third or fourth.
Having one allergy makes you more likely to get others. So if one year your ragweed symptoms seem more severe, it might be a reaction to another allergen that’s also in the air.
Allergies can interact in unexpected ways. For instance, up to a third of people who are allergic to pollens also have allergies to foods that have similar proteins in them, like certain vegetables and fruits. Doctors call this âoral allergy syndrome. You could have more severe allergic reactions if you’re exposed to both at once — for instance, if you eat a banana at the height of ragweed allergy season.
The key is to manage your symptoms and let your doctor know if you notice changes.
Get Seasonal Allergy Relief No Matter Where You Live
In the spring, the warm weather brings people outdoors to face one of the seasons biggest problems: tree pollen. Grass pollen follows later in spring into summer. Then in the late summer and early fall, weed pollen especially ragweed pollen can trigger symptoms just as kids are returning to school.
Take these actions to reduce your contact with pollen:
- Check pollen counts or forecasts daily and plan outdoor activities on days when pollen counts are expected to be lower.
- Keep windows closed during pollen season or peak pollen times.
- Use central air conditioning or air cleaners with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter and/or HEPA filtration to reduce indoor airborne allergens .
- Wear sunglasses, a mask, and a hat or other hair covering when outdoors.
- Take a shower and wash your hair before going to bed .
- Change and wash clothes after outdoor activities.
- Dry laundry in a clothes dryer or on an indoor rack, not on an outdoor line.
- Limit close contact with pets that spend a lot of time outdoors. Wipe pets off with a towel before they enter your home.
- Remove your shoes before entering your home.
- Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.
When cleaning inside your home, be aware that you may stir up pollen that has collected on surfaces. CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly®vacuums and dusting cloths help trap and contain allergens such as pollen.
There are also over-the-counter and prescription allergy treatments available to prevent or treat allergy symptoms:
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