Spring has sprung upon us, along with its sniffles and sneezes. After the harsh winter, many of us are relieved to be in spring… except for seasonal allergy victims. The quick plant growth, spring showers and kite-flying breezes that usher in the summer also pummel people with pollen and mold.
What causes allergies?
Air-borne allergens irritate the mucus membranes of the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory tree, which activates and ‘unleashes’ a host of immune system irritants, which causes the common symptoms of spring allergies: runny nose, twitchy airways, etc. Actually, this is more common in boys and men, and often reflecting family tendencies, spring allergies can aggravate asthma, masquerade as a sinus infection, or even cause sleeplessness. And if the severest of cases, allergies can cause time off work or school.
Testing and Monitoring Allergies
The culprit can be determined by skin prick testing, and monitoring sites like Pollen.com or local news or weather forecasting services can help by warning about high-risk days.
In general, dry and windy days spread pollen the most, so try to stay in on those days with the A/C on, and try to stay in until mid-morning, after the main burst of pollen. Additionally, try not to mow the lawn, rake leaves, or work in the garden, as this will heighten allergy symptoms, or try to wear a pollen filtering mask from before you leave the house until you return. When you return, take a shower to wash off all the pollen that has collected on you, and wash your clothes as well; they are pollen magnets!
If mold happens to be the allergen that gets you, observe the same precautions aforementioned, but on humid days, and limit indoor plants. A dehumidifier may help as well.
Follow these guidelines, and have fun this spring instead of sneezing your way through it!
Check out Randy’s podcast on this subject
We are offering the Spring Sneeze podcast FREE! Listen and learn great tips about reducing your spring allergies. Register as a HealthyU member to view the in-depth Spring Sneeze Rx post and podcast coming soon, or any of the other podcasts on DrTobler.com.