Spring has finally sprung in many places after a record-breaking winter, but you might be reaching for tissues more often than usual this year amid worries about a “pollen vortex.” Some allergists say a harsher winter means an especially bad allergy season, but the jury’s still out on whether the science backs that up. “May is the new April, June is the new May,” Allergy misery is just around the corner.” No matter what, people with allergies begin using their allergy nasal sprays before their symptoms begin to appear. In many cases this can reduce the amount of allergy medications patients will need to take overall. It is also suggested learning what you’re allergic to, and checking pollen indexes to prepare for bad allergy days by exercising indoors, for instance. But as spring slowly kicks into gear, people should be able to enjoy the warmer weather not dread it. Here are some tips to help allergy sufferers:
Learn your allergies. Allergic reactions tend to be specific to the individual, so what causes your co-worker or friend to sneeze uncontrollably might not affect you, and vice versa. Figure out whether there are certain trees, plants or other substances that trigger you.
Wear Cotton. Synthetic fabrics, when rubbed together, can create an electrical charge. That charge then attracts pollen. If a lot of your clothing is synthetic, try swapping out your wardrobe for some natural fabrics instead, so that you don’t have a cloud of pollen following you wherever you go.
Exercise early, or exercise late. Pollen counts are lowest before dawn and in the early evening, Sublett points out. If you are determined to exercise outdoors, try to aim for those windows of time when you’ll inhale the least pollen, especially because when you exercise, you’ll be breathing more deeply and naturally take in more pollen, if it’s in the air.
Antihistamines. It’s easy to get antihistamines over the counter, and if those don’t work, you may need an allergist.
Keep your home clean. There’s a reason for the term “spring cleaning.” If you are allergic to anything inside your home, eliminate those so that they don’t worsen the effect of whatever irritants might bother you outside.
Eat the right foods. Many have thought having ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties that can help combat allergies. Munch on apples, broccoli and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (certain fish, like salmon, and nuts), or consider adding more garlic and the spice turmeric to your cooking. Yogurt can also help by improving digestion and making your immune system more effective.