With all the April showers and May flowers of spring comes an unfortunate reality for an estimated 50 million people in the US: seasonal allergies. Runny eyes, itchy noses, and sneeze after sneeze define the season for sufferers of Hay Fever.
There’s no known cure for seasonal allergies, but don’t despair! With preventative action and proper treatment of symptoms, those pesky sniffles are completely manageable. Here we look at what causes seasonal allergies and share some of our top tips that’ll have you breathing easy in no time.
What Causes Seasonal Allergies?
Allergic rhinitis, commonly referred to as Hay Fever or seasonal allergies, happens when your body misidentifies a harmless substance as dangerous. Your immune system goes into defense mode, releasing something known as histamine, which causes the symptoms we’re all too familiar with. Allergic rhinitis can be triggered by a variety of substances, from pollen to mold to pet dander.
What Can You Do?
Since there’s no one cure for Hay Fever, the best that seasonal allergy sufferers can do to fight sinus misery in the springtime is take preventative action. Here are a couple of tips to lessen the time you spend scratching, sniffling, and sneezing.
Track Pollen Counts
Keeping tabs on local pollen counts (the amounts of different types of pollen in the air where you live) can help keep your sniffling to a minimum. You can use a tool like this one from the Weather Channel to see when pollen levels are high. Generally, pollen counts tend to be at their lowest just after sunrise and highest just before sunset.
Don’t Let Allergens In
When you know a high-pollen day is imminent, your best bet is to stay inside. Keep your windows and doors closed tight and use your air conditioner to help filter air from outdoors. If you have to leave the house, make sure to take a shower or at least change clothes when returning home so that no pollen from outside sticks to you. And don’t risk drying your laundry on a clothesline during a high-pollen day!
Double-Check Your Living Space
As we mentioned before, seasonal allergies can also be triggered by molds that come alive during this damp, warm season. Make sure to do a seasonal inspection of any spots in your home that might have mold. This includes oft-forgotten spots like the gutters and compost areas that can be breeding grounds for allergy-inducing mold.
A lot of the unpleasant symptoms of seasonal allergies deal with allergens getting trapped in the mucous lining of the sinuses (sounds gross, we know). Think sneezing, drippy noses, and itchiness. Drinking plenty of water keeps your sinuses moist, helping to clear out these irritants. If you’re experiencing extra-nasty symptoms, you can even help replenish moisture with a nasal spray or nasal irrigation.
Try a Natural Solution
Smallflower carries a variety of natural options to help soothe seasonal allergy stresses. Check out a few of our favorites below.