While Spring brings sunshine, emerging greenery and longer days, many people dread this season for the sinus pressure, headaches, itchy eyes and respiratory problems it brings. More than 50 million people suffer with nasal allergies and half of those also have seasonal pollen allergies, according to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), which recently released a listing of the most challenging places in the country to live with allergies.
“With ongoing changes to our climate, there is no single allergy season,” said Tiffany Bowser, a Family Medicine nurse practitioner with Northwest Medical Group in Knox. “Allergy symptoms may vary throughout the year, depending on where you live and the types of substances you’re allergic to. Still, many people experience a worsening of their allergies around springtime, when pollen counts are very high.”
If you or a family member suffers from hay fever or allergic rhinitis, here are some helpful tips to keep symptoms in check:
- Leave the pollen outside. Take your shoes off at the door as much as possible, to keep from spreading pollen through your house.
- Close your windows and dust your fans. Despite the nice weather, true sufferers should keep the windows shut to prevent allergens from entering. If you use a ceiling fan, give it a good spring cleaning. Replace air filters in your home and car.
- Keep your immune system strong. Eat fresh, clean, nutrient rich foods and stay active. The healthier your immune system, the more equipped your body is to battle histamines.
- Be aware of the pollen count. It changes daily – look up the count for the day, by zip code, at www.pollen.com
- Sip warm beverages. Herbal teas can help ease congestion and keep you hydrated.
Wherever you live this year, allergies are likely to affect someone in your home. In addition to tips for avoiding allergy triggers, there are many effective treatments to minimize symptoms. Talk with your doctor about the best allergy prevention or treatment path for you.
If you need help finding a primary care physician contact visit NWMedicalGroup.com. Telehealth visits are available if you prefer the convenience of a visit from your own home.