General Health Monday March 19, 2012

Factors that could be worsening your spring allergies

Tomorrow is set to be the first day of spring, which is fantastic news for most, but for those suffering from spring and summer allergies, it’s a time to mentally prepare for endless bouts of sneezing fits, runny noses and puffy eyes. However, according to experts from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, many people are actually doing things that could be making their allergies worse! Simply changing a few habits and getting the right medicine could mean that spring doesn’t have to be an annual nightmarish experience.

Eating seasonal fruit and veg

These days we can get most fruits all year round, but there are certain types that are more prevalent during spring and summer than other times. Although food allergies can be extremely serious, some people can have much milder reactions to seasonal fruits and vegetables and this is known as pollen food allergy syndrome, which is when people have oral allergies to foods that have similar protein to specific types of pollen that are known to cause inhaled allergies. So, for example, a person with an allergy to grass pollen may experience tingling or itching of the lips or mouth when they eat certain types of fruits because of protein similarities. The key is to identify the fruits that cause you to experience an allergic reaction and cut them out of your diet, or simply eat it in a form. Although most of these allergies are light and shouldn't lead to anything more than discomfort, some people can develop reactions that are more serious.

You may also want to consider doing a food allergy test to help you get a more complete idea of which foods could be placing you at risk, although if your allergies are serious, you should always ask the advice of a doctor.

Not using the right type of air filter

In the UK there isn’t much emphasis on the use of air filters, the Allergy UK actually has a list of different types of air purifiers that you can use to reduce the prevalence of inhaled allergies and in particular, seasonal pollen allergies. The charity recommends that people take into consideration the size of the room they are looking to use it in to ensure that it provides the most benefit. It’s also important to ensure that you change the filter when required, to ensure that the purifier is always working to its full potential.

Self-medicating and not getting the right treatment

Many people with seasonal allergies often turn to self-medicating as a way to provide them with quick relief. Although this may be sufficient in most cases, it may be that you may respond better to a different type of allergy treatment, so if you find that your allergies aren't sufficiently under control it’s a good idea to pay a visit to your doctor so that the right type of treatment can be recommended for you.

Opening windows

It’s lovely to have windows open during a hot summer’s day, in particular after the stuffy winter months mostly spent indoors. However, having the windows of your home or car open could be exposing you to more elements. Although it’s not really natural to keep yourself shut indoors all day, you could make sure that you dust and vacuum your house on a regular basis to help eliminate any pollen that may have settled. You could also run your air purifier at times when the windows aren’t open to deal with any allergens that haven’t settled.

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