Don't stay inside to prevent allergies from acting up! Instead, try this tricks to keep the sniffles, headaches, and other ailments away.
Springtime means flowers, outdoor fun, and… the sneezing, itchy eyes and runny nose that come with allergies. Don't be sidelined this year. This defense plan can help to take action and stop spring allergies before they start.
A recent study from Harvard Medical School found that children who had low levels of vitamin D, which regulates the immune system, had more evidence of allergies. If you don’t already take a vitamin D supplement, you might want to start. Multivitamins typically contain 400 international units of D, but many experts recommend that adults take 800 to 1,000 IUs per day to reap the health benefits.
Say so long to dust mites. If you sneeze, cough or have watery eyes, a runny nose or congestion while you’re in bed, these pesky microscopic creatures
could be to blame. They’re the most common cause of year-round allergies. To cut down on dust mites, wash bedding in 130F
water weekly and cover mattresses and box springs with plastic covers. During warm weather, use your air conditioning regularly
to reduce humidity, which allows the tiny organisms to thrive.
Vacuum up irritants. Regular vacuum bags don’t hold on to tiny particles that can stir up allergies. To keep them enclosed in the vacuum, you need a machine with a hard shell or a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. If your home has a central-air vacuum, consider yourself lucky: it dumps the allergens outside as it cleans.
Easy tips for cleaning your bedroom.
Freshen the air naturally. Home deodorizing products (including plug-in ones) emit particles that can irritate your nose and eyes. Instead, simmer a
mixture of water, orange slices and cloves on the stove; it’s a natural and more allergy-friendly way to make rooms smell
Toss out the old. To reduce the allergens you inhale indoors, change the filters in your furnace and air-conditioning unit at least every three months. The best type of filter blocks at least 85 percent of particles. (Try a filter with a MERV rating of 11 or 12, available at most hardware stores.)
Addresses: Runny nose, itching and sneezing.
How it works: Prevents the effects of histamine, a chemical that causes inflammation and allergy symptoms.
Over the counter: Claritin, Benadryl, Zyrtec.
Downside: These meds can cause drowsiness
Addresses: Congestion and an itchy, runny nose.
How it works: With a neti pot or a saline nasal spray or wash, rinse out your sinuses, flushing out particles that cause irritation.
Over the counter: NeilMed sinus rinse.
Downside: It can take a few tries to get the hang of it.
Addresses: Congestion and runny noses
How it works: Cuts down on nasal inflammation.
Over the counter: Sudafed, Zyrtec-D
Time to take: Daily, as soon as symptoms develop
Downsides: These drugs raise your blood pressure, which can be dangerous if you have a heart condition. Other possible side effects include urinary retention and difficulty sleeping.
How it works: Shrinks blood vessels and nasal tissue, reducing mucus.
Over the counter: Afrin
Time to take: Can be used twice per day up to 3 days.
Downsides: After a few days’ use, the blood vessels aren’t as responsive to the spray, so you need to use more frequent and higher doses to experience relief.
There appears to be a link between your allergies and how well you care for yourself. If you’re eating right, getting regular exercise and sleeping seven to nine hours a night, the levels of the stress hormones in your body should decrease, improving your allergy symptoms. It takes time to adapt to a new routine, so start adopting better health habits this week.
Yes, if any of these situations apply:
Medications haven’t helped. See a specialist if you’ve been taking an over-the-counter or prescription drug for two weeks and you haven’t noticed a difference.
You want to get at the cause of your allergies. A skin-prick test can help you and your doctor determine what you’re reacting to, target your treatment and know which irritants to avoid.
You’re considering getting allergy shots. Over time, these injections gradually expose your body to allergens, allowing you to build your tolerance to them. It can take up to five years for the shots to become fully effective.
Did you know: Pollen counts are higher between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and
Plan ahead: Log onto pollen.com to get a four-day allergy forecast. To determine the start of the season in your area, check the seasonal pollen patterns map at nasonex.com.