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Nip Your Seasonal Discomfort in the Bud This Spring


That’s because an estimated 50 million Americans – that’s 1 in 5 people - suffer from seasonal discomfort. Seasonal health issues stem from your immune system seeing a harmful substance (known as an allergen) and overreacting to it. In response to the allergen, your body produces a protein called IgE. Then, histamine and other chemicals get released into the blood and cause common symptoms like a runny nose. Seasonal health issues can come in many different forms, whether it’s from animal fur, dust or certain foods. Pollen is one of the most common culprits and is often the first thing that comes to mind when talking about springtime for seasonal sufferers. This is because it’s usually at its worse in the spring when trees pollinate, but not many people realize pollen can also be heavy in the summer and fall, too.

So what exactly is pollen and why is it so bad?

Pollen is a powdery substance produced from trees, plants and grass that’s dispersed through the air. It’s a common allergen that can turn a simple stroll in the park into a nightmare. According to several news sources, doctors and meteorologists are predicting a tough season in 2019 due to the mild, wet winter. The heavier the rainfall, the worse the pollen. Ragweed, sagebrush and tumbleweed are some of the worst offenders and can be found across the United States. How do you know if you suffer from seasonal discomfort? Here are some common symptoms:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Itchy throat

Unless you want to stay indoors 24/7, there really is no easy way to avoid seasonal discomfort. Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, here are some preventable actions you can take to keep your health at its best this spring (and all year round):

  • Limit outdoor activities when pollen counts are high
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat when you are outdoors
  • Change and wash your clothes if you’ve been outside
  • Do not hang your clothes to dry outside
  • Shower before bed to wash out any pollen in your hair
  • Keep your windows closed and use A/C with air filtration
  • If you have pets, wipe them off with a towel if they’ve been outside
  • Remove your shoes before going indoors

In addition to minimizing your exposure to the pollen outdoors, doctors recommend nasal sprays, and prescription and over the counter anti-histamines. The key ingredient found in these types of medications is anti-histamine, which can reduce or block histamines.  Histamines are those pesky chemicals caused by pollen that manifest in the form of itchy eyes and a runny nose. Immunotherapy, either taken by pill or by shot, is another common way to alleviate seasonal discomfort. There are also many natural remedies that people successfully use including:

  • Taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or local or raw honey
  • Consuming stinging nettle, which can be found in the form of a pill or tea, is considered a a natural extract that can help with seasonal discomfort* (HINT: try QOL’s Allerfin, which is formulated with stinging nettle!)
  • Using a neti Pots, which are commonly used to treat sinus infections, can be another useful natural product to help reduce your symptoms

Drinking plenty of water and following a healthy diet are also key actions to follow when dealing with seasonal discomfort. Another surprising remedy? Being outdoors. While it may sound contradictory, exposing yourself to the outdoors (and yes, pollen) can reduce the severity of your symptoms over time. So don’t miss out on those beautiful cherry blossoms or sunny days at the park. Embrace spring and don’t let your seasonal discomfort define you.

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