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Spring time allergies



Have you noticed that as the beautiful, vibrant colors of spring emerge, so do your sniffles and sneezing? The beautiful blooming flowers and trees emerging bring along pollen that makes many individuals sneezy, itchy, and congested. These symptoms often make this new time of year miserable, but with some of the following strategies, you can prevent these annoying symptoms and enjoy the beautiful season. 

Spring allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, hay fever, or allergic rhinitis, are triggered by airborne pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. When you inhale the pollen, it comes into contact with your sensitive nasal passages, and your immune system overacts and releases histamines that lead to these symptoms. 

Common symptoms of allergies are sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, scratchy throat, itchy, watery eyes, red eyes, and even fatigue. While it is challenging to completely avoid allergens during spring, you can take several steps to alleviate your symptoms and enjoy the season. 

You can monitor local forecasts that track pollen counts. Most often, pollen counts are elevated on warm, dry, and windy days. When pollen counts are elevated, you should stay indoors if possible, close windows, and use air conditioning. Make sure to keep your indoor environment clean by regularly vacuuming, washing bedding in hot water, and using high-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA).

Using nasal rinses daily can also help flush out allergens and relieve congestion. Netti pots and saline sprays are options to help with this. Antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra, and Xyzal are some effective medications to alleviate symptoms. Nasal corticosteroids, such as Flonase, are also available over the counter and can help provide relief. Be sure to consult with your health care professional before starting any new medications. For severe allergies that do not respond to over-the-counter medication, sometimes allergy shots or sublingual tablets may be recommended by your health care provider. 

Staying hydrated and eating healthy can help support your immune system and reduce inflammation. Drinking half your body weight in ounces is recommended for water intake, as is a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables and omega-3 fatty acids.

 

Spring allergies can often make you feel miserable, but with the strategies we discussed, your symptoms can be minimized so you can enjoy the season!

 

 

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