Allergy season has arrived and brought with it a haze of pollen and allergens, leaving millions of affected individuals longing for relief. The health experts at Envolve, an integrated healthcare solutions company, have put together a few tips to help you proactively manage your exposure and response to allergens and allergy triggers – and help you get through allergy season more comfortably.
Consider allergy testing. Consult your primary care provider (PCP) or an allergist to find out about the benefits of allergy testing. Allergy testing allows your medical provider to pinpoint the specific triggers that your body responds to and the severity of your reaction. Allergy testing has come a long way in the past decade, and once you know what works well with and for your body, you and your medical provider can create a specific plan to increase your level of comfort during allergy season.
Limit interaction with outdoor allergens. If it’s dry and windy outside, it’s best to try to spend more time indoors. After it rains, pollen build-up on outdoor surfaces is reduced, so that’s a better time to enjoy the outdoors. The time of day matters, too. Pollen counts are at their peak during morning hours, so try to handle outdoor activities when counts are lower in the evening.
Monitor the allergy index in your area. Modern technology makes it easy to know how pollen will affect your day before you even step outside. Most TV stations broadcast allergy forecasts during weather segments. There are also websites, apps, emails and text messaging programs that can alert you to conditions in your area.
Breathe easier inside. When at home or riding in an automobile, turn on the air conditioner, instead of using window ventilation. Open windows unnecessarily expose you to allergen triggers. To make the use of air conditioning even more effective, use high-efficiency air filters and change them per the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure the best quality air flow. Keeping your carpets and floors clean and dust free will eliminate allergy inducing pet dander and debris. Also, be certain to take a bath or shower before going to bed to lessen pollen buildup on linens.
You are what you eat. Many people fail to realize that certain foods can increase allergic responses and inflammation. Start keeping a watchful eye on your food intake. When you notice symptoms like nausea, headache, dizziness or an itchy throat or wheezing, take note of the foods you’ve consumed. Sugars, wheat, dairy and processed foods can increase the onset and intensity of allergic reactions and stimulate mucus production. Drink plenty of water to flush and hydrate your system.