As spring rears its flower-crowned head, most people rejoice with short-short denim and trips to their nearest market; stocking up on every flower the new season has to offer. There are some of us, however, who don’t see spring’s blossoming flora, only the debilitating allergies it induces.
We see you, and we feel your pain.
To reduce your suffering, here are 11 lesser-known allergy triggers to avoid this spring:
When the tree, grass, and weed pollen counts are high, your immune system is primed to attack, which is why certain fruits may trigger your allergies if you suffer from pollen-food allergy syndrome. To prevent this from happening, try to peel or cook fruit before eating it.
Sad, but true. Those who suffer from hay fever, asthma, and chronic bronchitis, are far more likely to experience sneezing, a runny nose, and lower-airway symptoms after a tipple. This is because alcohol – particularly wine – dilates the nose’s blood vessels and causes an immune response. The reality of this is that those who suffer from allergies should try and limit their spring celebrations to one glass of bubbles per picnic, and refrain from ever mixing it with allergy meds.
Stress can’t cause allergies, but it can worsen your symptoms.
Research from The Ohio State University Medical Center shows that just a small amount of stress can increase the body’s levels of allergy-triggering proteins as well as its allergic symptoms. In addition, chronic stress elevates the cortisol hormone, compromising your immune system and fatiguing you, which makes it difficult for your body to recover from the season’s plethora of pollen.
Solution? Take active steps, such as meditation, yoga, or saying “no” to unwanted social engagements, towards reducing stress in your life.
Hair products have become a popular hangout for pollen, so opt instead for fewer, more natural products that don’t turn your locks into an allergy magnet.
Although the odd drizzle can decrease pollen counts, thunderstorms can stir up pollen, which can easily rupture and spread through the air as tiny particles, according to hay fever research. In fact, storms have been associated with a higher incidence of asthma-related hospitalisations. Stay indoors with the windows shut when the heavens start opening.
Spring brings warm weather, which attracts dust mites, the tiny bugs that cause all this sneezing, running nose trouble. Your best bet is to spring clean regularly and invest in a dehumidifier, which stops dust mites from reproducing.
Mould is more than just gross. When allowed to grow, it can actually trigger allergic reactions. One of the places that mould grows is in wet soil, so don’t overwater your poor houseplants, and perhaps even invest in some air plants to improve the air quality in your home.
Indoor air could be worse for your allergies than outdoor air. This is because inside, your senses have to cope with both indoor and outdoor allergens. Running a ceiling fan merely swirls all of these allergens around, as well as the dust that gathers on their blades, so rather open the doors or turn on the A/C.
If you wake up each morning with a blocked nose, consider showering before bed to wash off all the pollen and mould that may have attached itself to your clothing, skin and hair throughout the day. If you’re a religious morning washer, make sure you wash your face at night, paying particular attention to your eye area.
As well as removing your home of dirt, spring cleaning also increases your exposure to allergens found in ‘house dust,’ such as dust mites, mould spores, cockroach, rodent and pet allergens. The good news? If you’re a hay fever sufferer, it may mean you should delegate spring cleaning to someone else while you’re out. If you live alone, use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
Fluffy’s fluff carries pollen, mould and all sorts of other allergens into your home, which can acerbate your allergies even if you aren’t allergic to him or her. Make sure you regularly bath your furry kids and try to limit their access to your bed.
If you are looking for a product which contains natural ingredients, which may assist in relieving your allergy symptoms, take Releaf African Ginger, which has antihistaminic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It may help alleviate the symptoms of colds, coughs and influenza, as well as to clear the nasal passages associated with asthma and colds.