May month is considered as Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Many of you whose allergies cause you to dread the end of winter, that’s probably no surprise. This spring has already been labeled as one of the worst allergy seasons in decades, with many experts predicting it to be the worst ever. What’s going on? Some scientists are blaming this especially virulent allergy season on global warming. Plants need warmth and carbon dioxide to grow, both of which are becoming more and more abundant with each passing year. In addition, spring came late this year. In parts of the country, the weather went from snowy to balmy in the span of two weeks. So if you suffer from hay fever, be prepared. We come up with a few excellent tips on how to fight off seasonal allergies so you can get outside and enjoy the spring sunshine.
Runny nose and constant sneezing
Flush out excess mucus from your nose and sinuses. For mild symptoms, simply steaming your face, drinking hot peppermint or chamomile tea, or taking a long, hot shower can help. For more tenacious sinus trouble. Second-generation antihistamines, such as loratadine and cetirizine, both of which are non-sedating and long-lasting. Visit your local pharmacy to learn more.
Cough, More Cough
Don’t ignore; it could be more serious that allergies. Home remedies, like hot tea and cough drops, can help mild coughs and sore throats.
If you’re coughing nonstop and wheezing like you just ran a marathon (even though you’re sitting at your desk), it’s possible that you’re having mild asthma attacks. It’s so important, in fact, that the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology offers free asthma screenings nationwide during the month of May. So if you’re experiencing really bad lung-related symptoms,
Itchy, Red Eyes and a Scratchy Throat
Avoid pollen as best you can. Try staying indoors when pollen is the highest. Between 6 and 9 a.m. and at dusk. Also, keep the windows to your house and car closed at all times to keep the pollen outside. When you do go outside, make sure to wear sunglasses or other protective eyewear that keeps the pollen from getting in your eyes If you’re doing your best to avoid pollen but still have itchy red eyes, head to the pharmacy for some over-the-counter eye drops. To avoid this rebound effect, steer clear of any eye drops that include a decongestant, and go for a brand whose active ingredient is ketotifen.
Trouble In Sleeping
Target and treat the symptom that’s keeping you awake. For most people, the culprit is usually nasal congestion. To treat allergy-related nasal congestion, pseudoephedrine or an antihistamine that includes a decongestant. And, of course, make sure your bedroom is relaxing, and do everything you can to unwind before bedtime.
Constant lack of energy, stuffy head, clogged ears
Fight back; get more help. For some people, allergy symptoms dominate their daily lives. If over-the-counter and home remedies aren’t working, go visit your healthcare provider ASAP. Sure, nobody dies of seasonal allergies, Untreated allergies can lead to sleep apnea, chronic sinus problems, recurrent ear problems (especially in children), loss of sleep, and asthma. Your doctor can prescribe stronger medication or recommend immunotherapy. Usually a last resort, immunotherapy involves getting weekly shots that immunize you from what you’re allergic to. It can be highly effective for people suffering debilitating seasonal allergy symptoms.
The good news is that while this year’s allergy season may be severe, that same intensity and high concentration of pollen all at once means that the season will probably be shorter than usual. After all, trees and flowers can’t pollinate forever. To get more information about Allergy and Asthma Awareness Month, including awareness events near you.