For the 40 million Americans who suffer from weather-related allergies, the spring of 2015 promises to be a particularly miserable one, with scientists anticipating that allergies this season will be even more severe than usual. But as spring slowly kicks into gear, people should be able to enjoy the warmer weather, not dread it. Here are six tips to help allergy sufferers beat the sniffles.
1. Learn your allergies. Allergic reactions tend to be specific to the individual, so what causes your coworker or friend to sneeze uncontrollably might not affect you, and vice versa. Figure out whether there are certain trees, plants or other substances that trigger you. Start by keeping track of your allergies (yes, of course, there are apps for that) so you know what to avoid. Alternatively, you can also get an allergy test done by a doctor.
2. Wear cotton. Synthetic fabrics, when rubbed together, can create an electrical charge. That charge then attracts pollen. If a lot of your clothing is synthetic, try swapping out your wardrobe for some natural fabrics instead, so that you don’t have a cloud of pollen following you wherever you go.
3. Exercise early, or exercise late. Pollen counts are lowest before dawn and in the early evening, Sublett points out. If you are determined to exercise outdoors, try to aim for those windows of time when you’ll inhale the least pollen, especially because when you exercise, you’ll be breathing more deeply and naturally take in more pollen, if it's in the air.
4. Try drugs. It’s easy to get antihistamines over the counter, and if those don’t work, try talking to an allergist who can prescribe stronger medications or alternative treatments that could include nasal sprays or allergy shots.
5. Keep your home clean. There’s a reason for the term “spring cleaning.” If you are allergic to anything inside your home, eliminate those so that they don’t worsen the effect of whatever irritants might bother you outside. Vacuum everything, leave shoes by the door and put down rugs that can help catch dust and other irritants. Turning on a dehumidifier can help prevent mold, too.
6. Eat the right foods. Certain foods naturally have ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties that can help combat allergies. Munch on apples, broccoli and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (certain fish, like salmon, and nuts), or consider adding more garlic and the spice turmeric to your cooking. Yogurt can also help by improving digestion and making your immune system more effective.