It’s no secret allergies are a struggle for countless people across the U.S.
In fact, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 50 million Americans are affected by nasal allergies each year. Even more concerning, allergies seem to be increasing in young generations, not boding well for the future.
With allergies being an issue for so many, it’s a good idea to take a look at how to combat them. Here are five ways you can prevent and deal with common allergies this spring.
Limit pollen exposure
Pollen causes most spring allergies, so limit your exposure to greatly reduce symptoms. Most people know to limit their time outside, but the time of day you go outside matters, as well.
Researchers say pollen counts are highest between 5 and 10 a.m. If you must go outside, try to do so in the late afternoon or early evening when pollen counts are lower. Intense outdoor workouts will cause you to inhale more pollen, so exercise is best kept indoors during allergy season.
Keep windows and doors closed at night to avoid letting pollen into your home.
Improve indoor air quality
Some allergies might appear in the spring but are often linked to indoor allergens, such as dust and other particles. Buying a high-efficiency particulate air filter and regularly having your HVAC system ducts cleaned will keep your indoor air clean and free of allergens.
Cleaning your living space often and using a dehumidifier will also ensure the air stays dry and prevents the buildup of dust and pollen.
Keep pollen off
Showering after you return home will clear pollen from your body and prevent you from getting it on your furniture and bed. A lesser-known fact is synthetic fibers tend to have an electric charge that attracts pollen, so it’s best to stick with cotton and other natural fibers in your clothing to keep pollen off.
Many people end up using one or more allergy medications to alleviate the overwhelming symptoms of spring allergies. While they can help, take the correct dosage and combination for best results. If used improperly, allergy medications can make things worse. For example, long-term use of nasal decongestants can cause rebound congestion.
Eat foods to arm yourself
Consuming certain foods, such as probiotic yogurts, baked fruits, spices, apples and berries, can benefit allergy sufferers. While each food helps for a different reason, most tend to have anti-inflammatory properties and immune-boosting effects. Certain herbs, such as butterbur and specific types of teas, have also shown positive effects when taken before symptoms hit.
By following these tips and consulting your doctor or allergist, you can build an effective defense against spring allergies. Not every spring has to be marred by horrible symptoms and an inability to go outside.
Talk to your medical provider about which tips will work best for you and your needs.