Allergy season has kicked off with a bang and those of us affected by it run to the medicine cabinet for our remedies. The constant sneezing that is accompanied by a runny nose can be more than annoying.
Seasonal allergies have doubled in all of the last 30 years. Approximately 40 million Americans have them, according to The American College of allergy, asthma, immunology (ACAAI). This trend can be attributed to our pollution, and climate changes, explains Dr. Leonard Bielory, an allergist at Rutgers University.
Aside from the environments we can control, like forbidding diesel emissions on local and rural roadways, we have to keep in mind the allergy triggers within our natural environments. Mold is commonly believed to be an indoor problem, but the outdoors can be a circus of mold, triggering allergies and asthma. Outdoor molds grow on plants that have died in the cold winter weather. As the plants are disturbed during warm weather, the mold spores can rise up into the air we breathe.
Here are some interesting ideas on how to minimize our allergies this season
Try wearing polyester fiber clothing. Polyester fibers attract and hold less pollen than those made of cotton or wool. If you’ve spent time outdoors, wash your clothes and shower, you are most likely covered in the invisible pollen. Pollen loves to stick to your hair and will transfer easily to pillows and bedding.
Choose early morning or dusk for going outdoors.
When planting flowers, use brighter flowers. The pollen is heavier and gets transferred to other plants by way of insects attracted to the color. Dull, mild scented flowers are not attractive to insects and are more likely to blow pollen into the air. Allergy friendly flowers are daffodils, daisies, geraniums, hydrangeas, iris, roses, sunflowers, and tulips.
Ragweed is high in pollen. The cross – reactivity between plant proteins from ragweed and the pollen from vegetables and fruits can trigger oral allergy syndrome. Your immune system believes these are the same pollen’s, causing an allergic reaction to the foods as well as the pollen from ragweed.
It is a good idea to keep an allergy kit in your car. Keep antihistamine, nasal spray, eye drops, and tissue inside. Use high efficiency filters in your home.
Opt for hardwood, carpet holds on to pollen as well as pet dander and can drift up when walked on.
Cited by: Shape.com, WebMD, Discoveryhealth.com, writers for howstuffworks.com