According to the Asthma and Allergies Foundation of America (AAFA), allergies strike 1 in 5 Americans—making them one of the country’s most common (yet frequently disregarded) diseases. With spring so close, it’s hard to not think about those numbers. However, with a little bit of dedication, allergies can be easier to overcome than you may think.
Here are a few tips for dealing with airborne allergies this season:
- Wear sunglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes.
According to a recent Everyday Health article, “An estimated 35 million Americans experience hay fever caused by wind-borne pollen or mold spores. Wearing sunglasses outside can reduce the amount of pollen or spores that get into your eyes. Allergy-irritated eyes are also more sensitive to sunlight, so stylish shades may help your eyes feel better, too.”
- Keep anti-histamines close.
Though the idea is to use allergy medication as little as possible, a simple over-the-counter antihistamine such as Benadryl or Claritin should do the trick. Antihistamines work by blocking your body’s histamine receptors, which are responsible for identifying (or in the case of an allergic reaction—falsely identifying) that there is an intruder in your immune system. Antihistamines silence your body’s immune response so you can go on happily with your day.
- Travel sparingly—and keep the windows up.
If you take a road trip during pollen season, be sure to keep your car windows rolled up. Before you begin your trip, start the car and turn on the air conditioner, then get out and let the air inside the car cool. If you can, travel early in the morning or in the evening.
Also avoid vacationing in a high-allergy destination. For example, you might want to stay away from damp, cold climates because of mold, and damp tropical climates because of mites, molds, and pollens.
Allergies are a part of life, but they don’t need to become your entire life. If you are concerned about your allergies, speak to your physician about treatment options. There are many paths that can be taken to stay happy and healthy this spring!
Photo credit: TheAllergyDoctors.com