Warm weather is coming quickly, and no doubt, many of us will be out in the sun enjoying the bloom of spring. But with the budding plants and pleasant warmth of the season comes the flare-up of seasonal allergies for 50 million Americans every year. This means plenty of people will sadly greet the spring with sneezing, itching, dry eyes, congestion, runny nose, and watery, red, or swollen eyes.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make this time of year more pleasant for allergy sufferers, so to improve your quality of life in the coming month, let’s examine how allergies work, the common allergy triggers spring brings, and what you can do to prevent or manage them as they arrive.
If you live in the Lake Oswego, Oregon, area and you struggle annually with seasonal allergies, the dedicated staff of specialists at Lake Grove ENT can help find ways to feel better in spring weather.
A healthy body has many ways to fight disease, viruses, bacteria, and other foreign threats; your immune system is a big part of why. This collection of organs and other body parts includes your adenoids, lymph nodes, bone marrow, lymphatic vessels, spleen, thymus, and tonsils, and responds to threats to your body by creating antibodies to fight them off and keep you from harm.
An allergic reaction results from a misfire in your immune system where it adversely responds to particles in your body that aren’t harmful, known as allergens. It responds to the allergens by producing the symptoms listed above and others depending on whether the allergen is airborne, in your food, or from some other source.
The most common source of allergic reactions in the spring is pollen, which trees, weeds, and grass produce to fertilize other plants. Here’s a list of the pollen-producing plants:
Other common allergy triggers include pet dander, mold, and dust mites.
Here are some practical ways to avoid allergy attacks:
It seems obvious, but a good start to reducing your symptoms is to avoid the things that trigger an allergic response. This means limiting the time you’re outside to avoid pollen and keeping windows shut to keep triggers from getting in.
Watch the news or find an app that can help you monitor the amount of pollen in the air to decide whether it’s safe to go outdoors.
This means cleaning areas inside where pet dander, mold, and other triggers may build, so wipe down, vacuum, and sanitize wherever possible. Anywhere where allergens can collect should be cleaned regularly.
If you spend some time outside, pollen can collect on your clothes and hair, so be sure to wash your clothes and clean up to reduce reactions.
If you’re keeping your windows closed and running a fan, you may still be moving allergens all around your home. HEPA-certified air filters can help greatly lower allergens in the air, and be sure to clean your vents regularly.
If you venture outside, wearing a safety mask can help reduce your exposure to pollen and other allergens.
Several nasal sprays, antihistamines, decongestants, and other medications you can buy at the store can help reduce symptoms.
Allergies can be a pain, but there are ways to make your life easier. If you’re still struggling with allergies after taking these precautions, make an appointment with the team at Lake Grove ENT today to get help.