Spring is finally here, and that means that you can look forward to warmer weather, more outdoor fun, and the promise of summer to come. However, spring also brings with it a whole range of allergies. These can make your life miserable, so you can't even enjoy the season.
You don't want to be feeling full of allergies at this time, so you'll want to combat them, before the symptoms can even get a hold.
Here are some spring allergy symptoms to look out for, and how you can combat them.
What Are Spring Time Allergies?
Firstly, you need to know what you're actually allergic to, before you can start combating the symptoms. If you get symptoms in spring, then the most likely culprit is pollen.
Pollen is a tiny grain that's released by a whole range of trees, plants and weeds. They release them in the spring in order to fertilize other plants and spread. They can travel for miles, so the pollen can be released and get to you even if there's no plants around.
The problems start when they get into your nose, and activate your body's defenses. A person who's allergic will have an immune system that sees the pollen as a danger. As such, it'll release antibodies that attack these allergens. When this happens, histamines are released into your blood, and that's what leads to the symptoms you'll experience.
As well as pollen, you'll want to remember that there are other allergies that can rear their head in the spring too. For example, mold growth outside the home gets higher with rain. There's also dust mites in your home that will lead to allergies too.
What Are The Spring Allergy Symptoms?
How do you know if you have a spring time allergy? You'll likely experience symptoms that are very similar to a common cold. These include:
- Runny nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Itchy nose
If you're experiencing these symptoms, it's a good idea to go to your doctor and get checked out. They will send you for tests, which could be a skin allergen test or blood test. If these come back positive, you'll know you're dealing with a spring time allergy.
Treating Spring Time Allergies
Most of the time, you can't totally seal yourself away from the world and the pollen outside. That's why you'll want to find ways of treating your allergy symptoms.
Most commonly, a good antihistamine medication will help a lot. As the name implies, these fight against the histamines in your blood, reducing the symptoms that you experience. You can also get decongestants, that shrink the blood vessels in your nose to reduce blockages and swelling. These can be bought over the counter, so it's easy to treat symptoms as and when you get them.
You may also be prescribed treatments by your doctor. These could be things like steroid sprays, which also work to reduce swelling and stop the release of histamines.
As well as these treatments, you can also use some natural remedies. Nasal irrigation is a well recommended solution that helps clear out mucus and reduce nasal swelling. You can use warm water, a quarter teaspoon of salt, and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda to make the solution. Use it in a net pot or squeeze bottle to thoroughly rinse your sinuses.
Keeping Pollen At Bay
As well as being aware of the treatments available to you, you can also take steps to stop it getting into your home and causing you problems. If you take these steps, you'll see a decrease in the symptoms that you get. Try these tips to decrease pollen in your home.
Vacuum often: Vacuuming is a good way of catching pollen that gets into your carpets and causes you issues. Keeping your home clean in general will help, but you'll want to be vacuuming often to catch everything you can. Twice a week is generally recommended to stay on top of it.
When you vacuum, try wearing a mask as it can kick up dust and pollen as you do so. Also, ensure that your vacuum cleaner has a HEPA grade filter. This will ensure that it can capture even the smallest particles, like pollen, and trap it there.
Get an air purifier: On the subject of filters, an air purifier that uses a filter will do a lot to keep pollen levels down. These draw air in through a filter, and capture any impurities on it. It then pushes out the clean air, making it much healthier indoors.
Again, look for a purifier that uses a HEPA grade filter so it can collect the pollen as it enters your home. A filter purifier is the best choice, as it can catch the pollen easily. There are ozone purifiers available, but these can actually be harmful to your family's health, so you'll want to avoid them.
Keep windows and doors shut: When the pollen count is very high, you'll want to keep your windows and doors shut even if the weather is warm. That will ensure that it can't get into your home and start causing problems for you.
Clean your HVAC filters: It's easy to forget that your HVAC system is bringing in air from outdoors, so it's bringing in pollen too. If you're taking care of the filter in the system though, then you should be able to minimize it.
Check your filter every month and replace or clean it, as needed. When the filter is clean, it's more able to catch pollen before it can get in through the ducts.
With these tips, you should be able to stay on top of the spring allergy symptoms, and not let them cause problems for you. Get an air purifier, keep your home clean and keep those windows shut to keep the pollen out. When you do, you'll suffer much less with those allergies over time.