5 Ways to Reduce Your Spring Allergy Misery
The arrival of spring brings sunlight, flowers, green leaves on the trees — and seasonal allergies. Tree pollen and mold spores can wreak havoc on the 35 million Americans who suffer itchy eyes, runny noses, scratchy throats, and fatigue.
Beyond the many over-the-counter and prescription medications available, there are simple steps sufferers can take to reduce their misery:
1. Limit your exposure. After months of cabin fever, staying inside with the windows shut tight on a lovely day may seem like torture. But consider the alternative: sneezing and wheezing and rubbing your eyes non-stop isn't fun either.
2. Plan your outings carefully. Rainy and non-windy days are best for keeping pollen at bay. Remember, too, that pollen counts peak in the midday hours. Avoid grassy and wooded areas. Check your local news source for pollen counts.
3. Park strategically. You've seen how pollen can, on heavy days, turn a white car greenish yellow. If you have a garage, use it. If you park outside, try to avoid parking under a tree. Your car may be cooler when you get into it, but you'll be less likely to get a nose full of pollen in the process of opening the door.
4. Scrub up. When you come back into your home, remove your shoes or at least do a thorough job of wiping off residual pollen from your excursion. And wash your hands. You may even want to shower and get into some pollen-free clothing. When you wash your clothes, use a dryer, rather than an outdoor clothesline.
5. Pollen magnets. Carpets and linens, too, can hold on to pollen, so vacuum your rugs and change your sheets more frequently than at other times of the year. That goes for bath towels, too. An in-home air filtration system can help remove irritating particulates.
Other reactions may come from foods. Certain raw fruits and vegetables contain profilins, which are proteins found in some pollen and boosts the production of histamine. Eating these foods can unleash swelling, tingling or other irritations in the throat, mouth, eyes, ears, or nose.
The protein in ragweed pollen is also related to the irritants found in cantaloupe, banana, sunflower seeds, zucchini, and cucumber. Grass pollen are similiar to peaches, celery, melons, tomatoes, and oranges. Birch pollen is related to a large number of vegetables, fruits, and nuts, including potatoes, celery, walnuts, apples, pears, peaches, and cherries and other pitted fruit.
Depending on what you’re sensitive to, you'll want to avoid foods like these. This is not a food allergy per se, simply an alternative way for those with allergic rhinitis to suffer.