Seasonal Allergies: What are your strategies?
The advent of spring brings with it sights, smells and sounds of astounding beauty. One can witness flowers, leaves, and birds of exquisite nature. One can enjoy the benefits of the much awaited sunlight lasting longer hours every day. However, not everyone thinks it’s the best time of the year. A plethora of flowers like orchids, lavenders, apple blossoms, and yarrows choose to pollinate in this season with the help of their friends in the animal kingdom like bees, wasps, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Much to the annoyance of many, these pollen grains cause allergies in some individuals. Let’s learn more.
What are allergies?
Allergies are the human body’s over reactions to harmful substances in the environment. They are one of the most common chronic diseases occurring in the country today. A chronic disease is a condition that lasts long and cannot normally be prevented by vaccinations.
What causes allergies?
Substances that cause allergies are called “allergens.” Common allergens include medicines, pets, insects that sting, latex, and food substances like milk, egg, peanuts, and soy. The most commonly occurring allergen in this season is the pollen coming from trees like cedar, oak and birch, grass, and weeds. Tiny pollen grains released by nature for reproduction are carried by the wind and thus cause allergic symptoms in vulnerable people. This pollen allergy is also known as “hay fever.” Some allergies may be genetic while others may be due to poor immunity or lack of exposure to allergens in childhood.
What are the signs & symptoms of allergies?
You know you have a pollen allergy when your body starts to react after exposure to pollen grains found in a natural environment. These light weight pollen grains cause signs in the human body called “allergic reactions.” Such reactions may include stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes/ears/mouth, nasal congestion, sneezing, red & watery eyes, swelling around the eyes, and sometimes even difficulty in breathing.
What are the precautions for symptoms of seasonal discomfort?
- Restrict outdoor activities that enable exposure to high amounts of pollen grains
- Shampooing hair and washing the body of all pollen before going to bed is a good idea
- Doors and windows that might allow pollen entry should be kept closed at all times
- Air conditioning with HEPA filtration method should be used
- Bedding should be cleansed with hot soapy water once a week
- Wearing a hat and sunglasses might help keep the pollen out of your hair and eyes
Keep these ideas in mind as you enjoy the springtime!