SURVIVOR SERIES: SURVIVING ALLERGY SEASON
They make us sniffle and cry. They wake us up early and keep us up at night. No, I’m not talking about your cat (although, mine does make me cry because he’s so cute and, yeah, he also wakes me up to feed him- but that’s beside the point… unless you are allergic to cats). We are talking about allergy season! While cat allergies are not exactly seasonal, this post can help you no matter what you are allergic to.
- Find out if you even have allergies. One way to know if you have allergies is to know the symptoms. The most common symptoms of seasonal allergies are:
- sneezing, wheezing, nasal congestion, coughing, watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, stomach ache, itchy skin, hives, fatigue, irritability, etc. – That’s a lot, but each have been attributed to seasonal issues. If you’re worried that the allergies are actually sickness, visit a doctor (Queue tip #2).
- Get tested. If you are still not sure if you have allergies even after checking your symptoms, there are tests available for you. A certified allergist can perform skin and blood tests to figure out your allergies. To find an allergist near you, visit this website: http://acaai.org/locate-an-allergist
- Go natural. There are things you can do every day to minimize the effects of allergies. If you want to to avoid taking medications, try these natural remedies:
- Saline spray. Spritz your nasal cavity (Too ew for me!) with some saline spray every morning to prevent symptoms. You can find nasal spray at any drugstore.
- Fish oil. Taking a fish oil pill every day lowers levels of leukotrienes. Leukotrienes are chemicals that contribute to allergic reactions.
- Butterbur. This is an herb that has an awesome track record for helping with allergies. Now you can buy it in pill form at an affordable price!
- Turmeric. Cooking with more turmeric during allergy season can help ease some of the symptoms.
- Avoid the outdoors early in the morning. Plants tend to release pollen at the break of dawn. If you tend to go for morning jogs or drink your coffee on the porch, try switching to an evening stroll or a cup of tea at dusk.
- Ditch the clothes. No, I don’t mean all day. Unfortunately, public nudity is still frowned upon in most places. However, trading in your pollen-infested clothes in when you get home is a good way to limit allergic reactions. If you’re really feeling ambitious, you could also hop in the shower (before putting new clothes on).
- Medicine. If all else fails, modern medicine is an amazing thing. If you only experience symptoms once in a while, an over-the-counter allergy medication should be fine. However, if you find your allergies interfering with your life then you should talk to your doctor. Chances are they will prescribe you a medicine that is right for you.
Written by Sarah Pasquarelli, Peer Educator
Photo Cred: Allergies