Spring Allergy Triggers

Spring allergiesSpring Allergies | Physician One make it difficult for many people to enjoy the warmer weather. To minimize their symptoms, most sufferers try to avoid specific spring allergy triggers, such as pollen, grass and high winds. Unfortunately, many people unwittingly exacerbate their problems by exposing themselves to little-known stimuli, which either cause or worsen allergy symptoms.
Surprising Culprits
Allergy flare-ups occur when our bodies have an overactive immune response to outside stimuli. In some cases, however, the following unexpected triggers can make this response even worse.

  • Fruit & Vegetables: When grass, tree and weed pollen counts are high, your immune system may attack fruit and/or vegetable pollen. To reduce the risk, try cooking your fruit & vegetables and avoid eating the peels or rinds.
  • Alcohol: Because it dilates the nose’s blood vessels, alcohol can worsen allergies for people with asthma, hay fever and chronic bronchitis.
  • Stress: Research suggests that stress can increase the body’s levels of allergy-triggering proteins, resulting in worsening symptoms and longer recovery times.
  • Hair products: Hair paste and gels create a sticky surface that becomes a magnet for pollen. To reduce your symptoms, go light on these products.
  • Thunderstorms: In the short-term, rain helps decrease pollen counts; however, by stirring up more pollen, it ultimately increases allergies once things dry out.
  • Humidity: Excessive humidity creates a breeding ground for dust mites. To combat this, use a dehumidifier to alter your indoor humidity to around 40 to 45 percent.
  • Ceiling fans: These can send allergens airborne, where they have a better chance of invading your sinuses. Run your fans sparingly and make sure they are regularly dusted.
  • Over-watering houseplants: This promotes mold and mildew growth within soil, spurring allergies and diminishing indoor air quality.
  • Morning showers: If you’ve been exposed to pollen or other potential allergens, it’s a good idea to shower before bedtime, or you are apt to wake up with more symptoms.
  • Pets: In addition to exposing people to dander, dogs and cats tend to bring a lot of allergens in from outside, thanks to their thick, fur coats.
  • Cleaning: This can also send allergens airborne, especially if you’re using a vacuum without a HEPA filter.

Reducing Flare-ups

For some people, seasonal allergies are a minor nuisance. For others, they are a major problem that can lower the quality of life. If you suffer from severe allergies, consider investing in a HEPA home air filtration system. You should also ask your doctor about medications and injections, which can reduce symptoms and give you more freedom to enjoy life.

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