Allergies plague between 10–30 percent of the world’s entire population. Also known as hay fever, the allergy occurs when your immune system overreacts to allergens from outside, such as pollen from wind-pollinated plants. Climate change triggers higher pollen concentration, and the longer the pollen seasons, the more you get exposed to pollen, and the more susceptible you become to allergic reactions.
Thankfully, the runny nose, scratchy eyes and headaches you endure are actually harmless. It is a simple way of your body reacting to exposure to foreign particles in the air by releasing histamine, a chemical that is part of the immune system response that causes irritation to soft tissues, hence the sneezing and sniffling. There are several ways to help your body fight seasonal allergies, including:
- Keep the Indoors Clean
Staying indoors on a dry, windy day can help you reduce exposure to allergy triggers. However, there is no product that will stop allergens from mixing with air in your home.
To keep your indoor air clean, use air conditioning for your house and car, a humidifier to keep indoor air dry, and a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to clean your floors. Regularly vacuum your bedroom using a portable HEPA filter and keep your beddings and blankets clean.
- Prepare your Immune System
The purpose of your immune system is to protect your body against infection and microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Your immune system also is responsible for destroying microorganisms that invade your body. You can get a boost from immune gummies and immune boosting smoothies to fight allergies. Fun smoothie flavors include citrus berry ginger, pineapple turmeric ginger, and citrus carrot.
- Air Conditioning
Much as you may opt to visit a drug store or doctor’s office to relieve allergy symptoms, most professionals will advise you that the best way to relieve allergies is to avoid allergens. A good air conditioning system will reduce allergic symptoms in your home by trapping a wide variety of particles that cause allergies.
You need to replace filters regularly to enjoy clean air in all seasons. Some systems have high-efficiency particulate air filters, and such can trap even the smallest particle. Air conditioners also control humidity, and in so doing, air conditioners keep away allergens such as mold and fungus, which thrive in moist and warm conditions.
- Exercise Indoors
Simple exercises that focus on breathing can help your body fight seasonal allergies. Exercises such as yoga concentrate more on breathing deeper that can strengthen your lungs. Exercise results in strong blood flow, and this improves the removal of allergens from your body.
When allergen levels are too high indoor exercises are a better option. You can run on a treadmill or find great workouts to do without buying exercise equipment. Choose to exercise in an allergy-free room, exercise on a mat instead of a carpet or get a gym membership.
- Try Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy made using crushed and fermented apples. It is loved by many because it’s easy to find and is not made using chemicals. It is believed to improve your immunity, help break up mucus, and offer support to your lymphatic system. To relieve allergy symptoms, experts recommend that you mix one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and lemon juice, to be taken three times a day.
- See a Specialist
Allergic symptoms range from mild to severe. If you suffer from watery eyes, cough for more than a month, runny nose, or when the symptoms interfere with your daily life, you should see a certified allergist. An allergist will diagnose seasonal allergy through blood test or skin prick test and may suggest over-the-counter medication in the form of pills or liquid, eye drops or nasal sprays.
If medicine won’t relieve the allergies or your doctor may recommend immunotherapy (allergy shots) in more severe cases. Other symptoms that might prompt you to see a specialist include: allergic reaction from food, medication or insect sting, asthma attack signs such as wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and frequent coughing, allergic rashes and more than three sinus, ear or lung infections in a year.
Beat Your Allergies
Seasonal allergy control begins at home. Much as you may choose to stay indoors when pollen and mold is high, dust mites and pet dander could equally trigger allergies. Better air quality in your home, school, office or car is, therefore, a better way to reduce asthma and allergy triggers. You can achieve this through: ventilating your indoor areas well, using air cleaners to clean indoor air, and controlling your contact with allergens, as the Environmental Protection Agency recommends.