How to fight springtime allergies

by Natalie Reinhold correspondent

The warm weather is beginning; the flowers are blooming, and the trees are budding. This change in the season, though welcome, brings along with it those dreaded allergies.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies are caused by a reaction to allergens, like particles of pollen, which affect the immune system. Allergens enter the body through the nose, mouth or eyes. The body’s reaction produces cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion. While there is no way to cure allergies, there are a number of ways to suppress the symptoms and several precautions to limit their severity.

PDR Health states that 40 million Americans are affected by pollen-induced allergies. Sarah Mertens, senior ministry to victims of sexual exploitation major, experiences allergy symptoms.

“Pollen is the thing that agitates my allergies. Anything that is green and that grows triggers them” she said, adding that she has allergies throughout most of the year, though they get more severe when the weather is warmer. Springtime allergies are typically caused by pollen from trees, flowers, grass and even weeds. The amount of pollen in the air can vary by the season of the year, day of the week, and time of the day.

In order to avoid triggering allergies, stay indoors on days when pollen counts are high, which are typically dry and windy days. Often newspapers or weather stations will forecast the level of pollen in the air, so those with allergies should check these forecasts regularly.

After being outside, allergy sufferers should always change their clothes and take a shower to rinse pollen from the skin and hair. And even though it is always wonderful to let fresh air inside during the warmer months, windows and doors should remain shut to keep pollen from entering.

Sometimes allergies are simply unavoidable. Mertens said, “I generally use Tylenol or Acetaminophen for my sinuses and headaches, and I also take Allegra-D twice a day along with a prescription allergy medicine.”

The AAFA also recommends antihistamines or decongestants, which usually can be bought without a prescription. Tiana Taylor, junior ministry to women major who develops severe allergy symptoms a few times during the season, advises investing in some Benadryl (though this can make you drowsy) and over-the-counter medicines. If you know you have intense allergy symptoms and plan to be outside during the day, take allergy medicine in advance.

You may not experience allergies this season, but don’t just assume that your stuffy nose is the result of a cold. Know how bad your allergies can be and what agitates them. With a careful watch of pollen levels and a good allergy medicine, you can enjoy this warmer weather instead of being cooped inside.

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