Seasonal Allergies: How to enjoy the outdoors without being miserable

springallergy

*Disclaimer: This post is not to be substituted with a doctor’s advice.  These are helpful suggestions to use along with a doctor’s supervision*

Its that time of year again! The miserably long winter makes me just itch to be outside every chance that I get. Unfortunately, along with the sunshine, warm weather and beautiful flowers comes POLLEN; that greenish-yellow, clean car destroyer that has your nose red, eyes watering, and throat and ears itching.

Allergies happen when your immune system identifies pollen or other allergens as harmful to the body.  Histamines are released into the blood stream and cause sneezing or itching. Trees, grass, flowers and other plants have no control over where there pollen goes so they dispel a lot of it, hoping it goes to a compatible plant to fertilize. Much of this overload ends up on us, causing an allergic reaction. Approximately 35 million people suffer from seasonal allergies each year.

So what can you do to enjoy that spring weather sneezing your head off?

1. See a Doctor. The best way to prevent seasonal allergies is to see a doctor. He or she can prescribe a great anti-histamine to fit your health needs. If necessary, your doctor might recommend an allergy test to see exactly what you might be allergic to.  The results of this test may give your doctor a better idea of how to treat you. You have to be careful about which medicines you take with anti-histamines, and be careful while driving or operating machine because some anti-histamines can cause drowsiness.

2.Over the counter meds. (Please consult your doctor and read the medicine labels before trying any of these medicines.)  When you can’t get to a doctor right away, try these items for relief.

Eye drops: for itchy and runny eyes

Nasal spray decongestants: clears nasal passages to prevent sinus pain, pressure, and infection

Over the counter anti-histamines: stops histamine reaction that is caused by allergens

3. Take Vitamin D supplements. Some studies show that taking low dose vitamin D can minimize your allergic reaction.  Vitamin D helps to regulate the  immune system. It is recommended for adults to take 800 to 1,000 IUs daily. This is available at any pharmacy.

4. Avoid being outside during peak pollen count hours. Researchers have discovered that pollen count is at its peak between 10 am and 4 pm. Avoid being outside at these times to minimize your allergic reaction.

Sources:

Web MD

CDC

Allyou.com

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