With the arrival of springtime comes beautiful sunshine, warm weather, and numerous opportunities to be outdoors. But once spring has sprung that also means another, more dreaded aspect of the season: allergies.
Allergies are one of the nation’s most common diseases as they plague millions of Americans. In fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nasal allergies affect approximately 50 million people in the United States. They affect approximately 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children. Furthermore, allergies are the 6 th leading cause of chronic
illness and account for more than $18 billion spent each year.
Some of the most common allergy triggers include tree, grass and weed pollen, mold spores, dust mites, cockroaches, and pet dander. While there is no cure for allergies, there are ways to try to prevent them. Typically these allergens lead to sneezing, congestion, itchiness of the eyes, ears, and nose, watery eyes, coughing, and runny nose.
While allergies can never be cured, you can try to prevent them. Here are four simple strategies to alleviate the symptoms.
Get an allergy test
Knowing what you’re allergic too is critical in figuring out how to avoid the side effects. The best way to determine that: an allergy test. There are two types of allergy tests that can be done, a blood test and a skin test. Once you determine the exact cause of your allergies, it will be much easier to avoid—or at least manage—them.
Avoid the allergens if possible
It’s not always easy—or even feasible—to avoid the items that cause allergies, but it’s definitely best to try to avoid them as much as possible. Before you go outside, check out the pollen count. The early morning (between the hours of 5 am and 10 am) is typically the time for the highest pollen counts of the day, so change up your schedule if possible to avoid the outdoors during that timeframe. And while the weather may be beautiful, be sure to keep windows and doors closed, both at home and in the car.
Keep the house clean
Indoor air pollution can be even harsher than outdoor pollution—and that’s only amplified as we tend to spend most of our time indoors. Pay attention to the areas where allergens can thrive. Leave shoes at the door before coming inside as they track in allergens. Get rid of carpet if at all possible as all sorts of allergens can hide in the carpet. Vacuum frequently, and be sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Change your indoor air filter as needed, and run the air conditioner instead of opening windows. Wash bedding weekly. Clean upholstered furniture often as those fabrics can have a build up of animal dander, skin cells, and dust. Wash kids toys—especially stuffed animals—in hot water routinely as they are a breeding ground for dust mites.
Don’t sleep with your pet
They may be significant members of the family, but when it comes to trying to avoid allergens, it’s essential to keep furry friends out of the bed. Cats and dogs’ fur are full of all sorts of allergens.
There’s no reason you should have to suffer because of allergies. If avoiding allergens isn’t working for you, it may be time to talk to an ENT. Give us a call today to discuss potential treatment options that would work best for you and help you avoid all that springtime has to offer.