At last, spring has arrived! It's time to open the windows, pack away the winter gear, and enjoy the cool, fresh air. Sadly, many of us also greet the spring season with a stuffy nose and watery eyes. This is commonly known as hay fever, spring fever, or simply spring allergies.
Spring allergies are often caused by pollen, tiny particles released by flowers and other plants that aid in the pollination process. When breathed in, the body may mistaken these particles as harmful substances and release chemicals which, in turn, cause allergic reactions like sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and others.
How to beat spring allergies?
To beat spring allergies, individuals will need to use a combination of different steps and lifestyle changes including early allergy treatment, environment control, using an air purifier, and avoiding times with high pollen counts.
Treat allergies early
Spring pollen actually starts filling the air as soon as the weather warms up enough for the trees to begin budding. So, if you take medications to control your seasonal allergies, the time to start them is a couple of weeks before the end of winter around early to mid August . By starting your medications early, you are less likely to have horrible allergy symptoms later on.
Know your allergy medications
There are over-the-counter medications that you can get to help control your allergies, such as topical nasal sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants. Ask your local pharmacist for advice on the best medication to use to help control your allergies. If these medications are not helping you or if your allergies are severe, then it's definitely best to see an allergist for an allergy test and a proper diagnosis.
Control your environment
If you're going outside, consider wearing a protective disposable paper mask or, if your allergies are severe, a longer-lasting 'respirator mask' with high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
Use a HEPA air purifier
The HEPA filters in these air purifiers work well by removing 99.97% of all particles greater than 0.3 micrometers from the air that passes through. You can also cut down on circulating allergens by using a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner.
When you're in the car, keep the windows shut and set your ventilation to recirculate. You can also get an small desktop air purifier such as the Ionmax Selah or car air purifiers that combines a HEPA filter, and activated carbon filters to purify the air that you breathe.
Avoid using humidifiers as they increase the humidity in your home and can lead to problems with mould and dust mites.
If you already have an air purifier at home, be sure to check if the filters need replacing or cleaning.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.