Spring is almost here!!! I know, as I write this a big portion of the country is getting slammed with cold air and snow.
Anyway, as the winter season comes to an end, spring brings in a new season of pollen and allergies. Spring allergies cause a lot of discomfort and irritation for people, myself included.
As we all know, allergies occur when the immune system reacts to foreign substances, such as pollen or dust, that are typically harmless. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, approximately 50 million people in the United States suffer from allergies, and spring allergies are among the most common. Are you part of the 50 million?
So the question I was asked yesterday, has the 2023 spring allergy season started yet? It depends on where you are located.
The spring allergy season typically starts earlier in the southern regions of the United States and later in the northern regions. The pollen season is also influenced by temperature and precipitation, and a warm winter can lead to an earlier and more severe allergy season.
According to the Weather Channel, in 2023, the spring allergy season is expected to be moderate to high in many parts of the country, including the Southeast, Midwest, and parts of the West Coast.
Regardless of when your spring allergy season starts, it is important to take steps to reduce allergy symptoms. Here are five things you can do to reduce allergy symptoms:
Monitor pollen counts: Check the daily pollen count in your area and plan outdoor activities accordingly. Pollen.com is a good source for information. On high pollen count days, try to stay indoors as much as possible, especially during peak pollen hours (usually early morning and late afternoon).
Keep your home clean: Pollen and other allergens can enter your home through open windows and doors. Keep your windows and doors closed and use air conditioning to filter the air. Use a HEPA air filter in your home to remove allergens from the air. Vacuum regularly, and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Wash bedding, curtains, and other fabrics regularly in hot water to remove allergens.
Practice good hygiene: Pollen can stick to your hair and skin, so shower and wash your hair before bedtime to remove any allergens. Change your clothes as soon as you get in from spending time outdoors. Keep pets off furniture and out of the bedroom, as they can carry allergens on their fur. Don't forget to brush their fur.
Take medication: Over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays can provide relief from allergy symptoms. If your allergies are severe, talk to your doctor about prescription medications or allergy shots.
Try natural remedies: Some people find relief from allergy symptoms by using natural remedies, such as nasal irrigation with a saline solution or using a neti pot. Eating foods with anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric or ginger, may also help reduce allergy symptoms. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before trying any natural remedies, as some may interact with medications or cause side effects.
Try these time tested tips, you can reduce your exposure to allergens and minimize allergy symptoms.
BTW - It is important to remember that everyone’s allergies are different, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you are experiencing severe allergy symptoms please talk to your doctor.
American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Allergy Facts. https://acaai.org/news/facts-statistics/allergies
The Weather Channel. 2023 Spring Allergy Forecast. https://weather.com/health/allergy/video/spring-allergens-that-are-dominant
Mayo Clinic. Seasonal allergies: Nip them in the bud. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hay-fever/in-depth/seasonal-allergies/art-20048343