Saturday, 30 March 2013

How To Tackle Spring Allergies?

Spring allergies have arrived and with the changing of the seasons comes an increase of pollen and mold in the environment, which means a lot of people are going to be reaching for a box of tissues. Pollen season can begin as early as February and last through October, although weather patterns and your location can alter the start and end dates. If you're already dreading the return of sneezing, sniffles, stuffiness and itchy, watery or dry eyes, take following steps to keep allergy symptoms from activating your immune system:-

See An Allergist Before Spring Allergies Start

Don't wait for allergy symptoms to make you miserable before seeing your allergist. You should start drugs, which were previously effective, early in the season, before pollen peaks. This should be before we start seeing pollen in trees. We are mainly referring to antihistamines, ideally not the ones that make you drowsy." Jordan S. Josephson, M.D., ear, nose and throat specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and author of Sinus Relief Now, encourages people to see an allergy or sinus specialist before pollen counts rise. "There are newer treatments and combinations of therapy that may offer renewed hope for feeling better," Dr. Josephson says.

Try Acupuncture For Spring Allergies

A study found significant reduction of allergy symptoms for people who received acupuncture treatments 3 times per week for 4 weeks, as compared to participants who did not receive it. The earlier you start acupuncture as a proactive measure to treat allergies, the better. It can take a little while to correct the underlying imbalances that allow the symptoms to develop, and that time varies based on the severity of the imbalance. There should definitely be a noticeable reduction in symptoms after a few months, but severe cases may require ongoing treatment. Acupuncture can also help if allergies have already flared. If you wait until you're experiencing symptoms, It can usually reduce or resolve symptoms such as runny nose, coughing, sneezing, wheezing and red, itchy eyes, but you may need to continue treatment throughout the allergy season to maintain improvement.

Mold-Proof Your Home

Pollen isn't the only spring allergy culprit. Mold can also kick your allergy symptoms into overdrive. Keeping mold out of your home by focusing on areas where mold is most common includes basements, bathrooms, kitchen and any areas with leaks. More suspected are:-

-- Remove mold from hard surfaces with water and detergent. If a mixture of water and 5-percent bleach is needed, be sure not to mix the bleach with other cleansers.

-- Wash fabric materials with soap and water. If the mold cannot be cleaned out, it's best to discard the item.

-- Repair and seal leaks in pipes, windows or roofs.

-- If you use a dehumidifier, be sure to empty the water often and keep the unit clean to prevent mildew.

-- If mold returns to an area that has been cleaned, check for leaks or a lack of proper ventilation.

Plan Your Schedule To Dodge Peak Allergy Hours

Try to plan your schedule so that you can avoid outdoor activities when the pollen count is highest, typically 5 am to 10 am. When making plans to spend time outside during allergy season, keep in mind that hot, dry days will have a greater amount of pollen in the environment than cold, rainy days.

Consider Nasal Irrigation

Talk with your doctor about nasal irrigation options, like a low-tech yet effective neti pot. A study of 211 patients from the University of California San Diego Nasal Dysfunction Clinic concluded that participants experienced relief from 23 out of 30 nasal symptoms after using nasal irrigation two times each day for 3 to 6 weeks. Irrigating your nose and sinuses using a Neilmed Netipot or a Grossan Hydropulse will help to wash the spring allergens out of your nose as allergy seasons starts. This will alleviate symptoms like sneezing, itching, sinus headaches, nasal congestion, post-nasal drip, hoarseness and feeling run down or fatigued before they start because it will protect your sinus membranes from the spring allergens. Just be certain to use bottled or filtered water, since using it with tap water has been linked to dangerous brain infections.

Stay On The 'Outs' With Pollen

Enjoy a respite from spring allergies inside your home by shutting out pollen. As tempting as it may be to let the spring breeze in, keep doors and windows closed to minimize allergy symptoms. When cleaning, focus on areas in your home where allergens tend to accumulate, air filters, bedding, upholstered furniture and carpeting. Vacuum often floors, furniture, rugs and use a vacuum with a filter. Also observe following tips:-

-- Change clothes once you get home. Pollen sticks to fabric and you could end up spreading pollen spores throughout your home. 

-- Shower before bed. Transferring allergens from your hair or face to your pillow can make matters worse.

-- Change the filters on your air conditioning unit frequently and use a high efficiency grade filter.

Track Allergen Levels

Check the Web sites of your favorite weather stations during allergy season to see if they offer daily pollen and mold count reports. Bookmark your favorite sites on your computer for easy daily access. If you use a smart phone, download a weather app that also provides pollen and mold count reports.

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