5 Easy Solutions to Spring Allergies
Does this sound like you in spring? Itchy eyes. Runny nose. Scratchy throat. Puffy eyes. Endless sneezing. Fatigue.
If these are familiar symptoms, you could be suffering from seasonal allergies.
For millions of people globally, the changing seasons bring more than just rainbows and flowers. The change in seasons brings pollen, moisture, mold, and other allergens.
Allergies occur when your body responds to an irritant in the environment that causes histamine levels to rise. Histamine is a chemical released in the body to protect it from perceived harmful substances. The production of histamine results in allergic reactions that affect the same body systems set to fight off foreign invaders.
In anticipation of the sneezy season ahead, there are some things you can do to minimize your allergy symptoms.
Get Your House Tested for Mold
The idea that all molds are toxic is a common misconception. Different types of mold can indeed be toxigenic and harmful to the human body; however, some molds simply trigger allergic responses.
Molds are categorized into three different categories: allergenic, toxigenic, and pathogenic (the kinds of mold that harm people with immunocompromised body systems).
Allergenic molds cause allergic responses like nasal congestion, skin irritation, wheezing, shortness of breath, hives, itchy eyes, and other symptoms related to inflamed tissue. Your body produces allergy-fighting antibodies when mold spores are inhaled.
Identify potential mold problems in your home to eliminate mold as a trigger. A thorough mold assessment is the only way to know if mold is causing your symptoms.
Clean the HVAC System
Outdoor or indoor allergens can cause seasonal allergies. It’s not always easy to tell what is triggering allergic responses, but dirty ductwork in your house could be a culprit.
Pollutants can enter a home from other sources like open windows, and dust and dirt particles accumulate in the air ducts.
You should consider cleaning your air ducts if you have chronic allergy symptoms that do not subside.
Change Your Bedding
Bedding is a haven for dust mites if it’s not washed once a week. Allergy-proof your bedding by covering your mattress and pillows with dust mite-resistant covers so you can rest easily at night.
Allergy-proof bedding won’t break the bank either. To cover your bed completely, you may only need to spend between $20 and $60. There are no promises of how effective this practice will be, but it’s worth a try!
One of the easiest ways to minimize your allergy symptoms is to drink water. It’s a simple solution that could pay off. Water plays a vital role in keeping your body systems balanced.
The Harvard Medical School Special Health Report 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating notes that water has many important jobs, such as:
- carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
- flushing bacteria from your bladder
- aiding digestion
- preventing constipation
- normalizing blood pressure
- stabilizing the heartbeat
- cushioning joints
- protecting organs and tissues
- regulating body temperature
- maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance
Your body produces higher histamine levels when dehydrated, making allergy symptoms worse.
For healthy individuals, at least 4 – 6 cups of water are recommended daily as a general rule.
Eat Foods High in Vitamin C
Vitamin C could be a game-changer when trying to minimize allergy symptoms. As an immune booster, vitamin C reduces histamine responses.
Foods rich in vitamin C include:
- Bell peppers
- White potatoes
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower)
Of course, you can always add Vitamin C to your diet in supplement form. In this case, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about the most effective dose for your symptoms.
Allergies are never fun to deal with, but these five easy solutions combined might just be what you need to make it through the sneezy season.