Achoo! Your Guide to Preventing Spring Allergies | Blog

Achoo! Your Guide to Preventing Spring Allergies

  Posted: Mar 02, 2020

  Category: health and wellness

The last freeze is over and spring is officially right around the corner, which means it’s time to get back to enjoying the outdoors. But, unfortunately the arrival of spring also means plants are blooming and pollen levels begin to escalate. If you suffer from seasonal spring allergies, you know at some point between March and May, you may start experiencing symptoms. Fortunately, you don’t have to reserve yourself to staying indoors and you can follow a few measures to prepare for and prevent spring allergies. 

What is considered an allergy?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 10% of adults in the US and over 5% of children experience seasonal allergies. An allergy occurs when your immune system produces antibodies when exposed to foreign matter like pollen and dander. These antibodies produce histamine that can cause the allergic reaction and allergy symptoms.
Symptoms of spring allergies can include:
·      Runny nose
·      Sneezing
·      Coughing
·      Itchy or watery eyes
·      Sinus congestion
·      Post-nasal drip
·      Itchy throat or mouth
Common spring allergens:
In early spring, trees like ash, oak, elm, cypress, maple, and sycamore are known starting allergies. In late spring, grass pollens like Bermuda grass, orchard grass, bluegrass, and red top grass are key culprits. Meanwhile, mold spores are common allergens starting in spring and lasting through autumn.

8 Ways to Prevent Allergies

You don’t have to wait until you are suffering to treat your allergies. While you may not be able to entirely prevent allergies from happening, you can better manage them to help ease your symptoms throughout the season. 
1.     Monitor the allergy forecast. On days where allergens are high, refrain from opening the doors and windows as allergens can easily fly inside. Try to stay inside during the midmorning and early evening to avoid peak pollen hours. 
2.     Venturing outside for a long period of time? Rinse pollen from your skin and hair when you return. Change bed sheets regularly to avoid breathing in allergens that may be stuck to pillowcases. And, even if you don’t feel any symptoms, it wouldn’t be harmful to rinse out your nasal passages with saline solution using solutions like the Neti pot. 
3.     Use a HEPA or high efficiency filter and follow regular maintenance schedules.
4.     Try to get ahead of spring cleaning. Dust fixtures, bookcases, wash curtains, sweep floors, clean carpets and rugs, and vacuum furniture. 
5.     Vacuum and wipe down surfaces in your car regularly. Tracking in dirt, pollen, and dander with shoes happens frequently. 
6.     Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening chores. If you have to work outdoors, avoid peak times for allergy levels, and try to wear a mask to avoid breathing in allergens.
7.     Practice showering before bedtime as opposed to the morning. Your body and hair collect a surprising amount of pollen and waiting until morning means you run the risk of placing that pollen on bedsheets and pillows at night.
8.     Start treatment early. Over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays can be used to help ease symptoms even before they start. If you typically have serious allergies, you might consider pursuing immunotherapy. 

Get Ready for Spring

As much as the spring season can take a toll on the immune system, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy brighter days and warmer temperatures. It is festival season, after all! Just be mindful of pollen levels, prepare yourself as best you can, and if you start feeling a slight runny nose, know that you can treat it easily and prevent it from getting worse. Don’t sit out Spring and nip allergens in the bud.