Tips For Outsmarting Those Seasonal Allergies

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While many people are anxiously awaiting the end of winter and cold weather, others are dreading the day that spring makes its arrival. Why? Those nasty seasonal allergies!

The common triggers, pollen and mold, will soon be floating through the air, and allergies will be in full swing. Those who suffer from allergies know that it is not just a simple sneeze that will be affecting their lives. Rather, a myriad of symptoms accompany those sneezes including: airway inflammation, runny nose, itchy and scratchy throat, excessive coughing, and experiencing shortness of breath.

So, what should you do to outsmart those seasonal allergies? The first step is to know your allergy triggers. If you notice these symptoms around the same time every year, you should probably visit an allergy doctor, known as an allergist.

“Skin or blood tests for allergies can help pinpoint the seasons where medication may be needed, or if allergies are present at all,” says Dr. Mark Millard, a pulmonologist at Baylor University Medical Center and the Medical Director at the Martha Foster Lung Care Center. “Many of the allergens that increase airway inflammation leading to exercise-triggering are actually indoors: cats, dogs, dust mites and mold can really set the stage for a bad attack outdoors, because of the inflammation set up by daily exposure to these allergens.”

According to an article How to Treat Seasonal Allergies by Daniel Moore MD, there are many things you can do to avoid pollen exposure.

•Keep windows closed prevent pollen from drifting into your home.
•Minimize early morning activity when pollen is usually emitted -- between 5-10 a.m.
•Keep your car windows closed when traveling.
•Stay indoors when the pollen count is reported to be high, and on windy days when pollen may be present in higher amounts in the air.
•Take a vacation during the height of the pollen season to a more pollen-free area, such as the beach or sea.
•Avoid mowing the lawn and freshly cut grass.
•Machine-dry bedding and clothing. Pollen may collect in laundry if it is hung outside to dry.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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