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How to Prepare for Springtime Allergies

April 2, 2021

The air is bursting with excitement and a constant wave of pollen. Spring is here.

While the changing of the seasons is often a welcome relief from the cold, spring brings with it increased pollen and mold in the environment.

From dander to dust mites, a plethora of allergens is moving throughout the air this time of year. For many, spring symbolizes nothing but sneezing, coughing and a stuffy nose.

But, without question, you can still enjoy everything spring has to offer. Let’s talk about planning for spring allergies and the most important steps you can take to protect yourself from the annual pollen blast.

What Causes Spring Allergies?

You tend to experience spring allergies when your immune system overreacts to a harmless substance in the air, known as an allergen. When you deal with an allergy, your body produces antibodies that travel to the cells that release histamine and other chemicals.

This histamine causes swelling in the eyes and nose in an attempt to stop allergens from entering your body. Histamine also causes sneezing to remove allergens by way of the nose.

But the main cause of spring allergies is usually the pollen that grows and reproduces during the season.

When you breathe in that allergen, your body can react in miserable ways — ways we have come to call typical spring allergies.

How Long Do Spring Allergies Last?

Where you live dictates which pollens are kicking up and what allergies are flaring. Whatever types of plants thrive around you directly impacts the type of pollens you’re being exposed to daily.

It’s important to check out an allergy season chart to learn when certain pollens are heavy in your area.

The key to understanding your spring allergies is to learn more about where you live so you can see what allergens are most common — helping you narrow down what may be spiking your spring allergy symptoms.

Spring Allergy Symptoms

Some of the more common symptoms associated with spring allergies can include:

  • Itchy and Watery Eyes
    As we previously highlighted, most of the allergy symptoms you experience are caused by histamines, such as tree pollen. They can cause swelling and inflammation in your eyes, making them feel watery, gritty or itchy during springtime and causing your allergies to flare up.
  • Sneezing and Runny Nose
    Do you often get a sudden urge to sneeze as the trees begin to bloom in your area? When pollen gets released by a plant or tree and makes its way into your nose, your immune system tells your brain to eject it by force. That results in sneezing fits and runny noses that are purposefully trying to dispel the pollen infiltrating your nasal passages.
  • Coughing and Sore Throat
    Spring allergies can cause postnasal drip, which is an annoying trickle of mucus from your sinuses into your throat. This constant drip of mucus can cause your throat to become irritated, resulting in coughing fits and even a seasonal sore throat.
  • Dry and Itchy Skin
    If your skin tends to get very dry and itchy during the spring, it could be due to eczema, which can be triggered when an allergen causes inflammation and irritation in the skin. This type of seasonal skin irritation can become inflamed from increased pollen in the air, but it tends to subside once the pollen count decreases.

Springtime Allergy Treatments

A few ways to avoid getting bogged down by the springtime allergy season are simple and effective techniques that can have you breathing better in no time.

  • Try limiting your exposure to pollen.
    Every extra step can help when pollen is in the air. Wear sunglasses and a brimmed hat, keep your windows closed at home, and stay indoors at midday to afternoon when the pollen levels are peaking. Then, when you get home, you can try to de-pollen yourself by changing your outdoor clothing before going in the bedroom and showering before turning in for the night.
  • Try some natural remedies.
    You can try taking natural supplements, like nettles and a plant pigment called quercetin, to relieve your runny nose, watery eyes and itchy skin. Quercetin acts as an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, preventing immune cells from releasing histamines.Another strategy is taking vitamin C because it’s a natural antihistamine and also very gentle when reducing allergy symptoms.
  • Try rinsing your nasal passages.
    Keeping your nasal passage clean and clear is a helpful practice for anybody during allergy season. Rinsing with a saltwater solution reduces inflammation in your sinuses and can rinse away pollen and molds that have traveled to your nasal passages.

Vibrant, Healthy Living at Episcopal SeniorLife Communities

This spring, consider joining the Neighborhood Program at Episcopal SeniorLife Communities – a member-based health and wellness program for seniors in the areas we serve. This program provides exercise classes, nutrition education, informational presentations, and the opportunity to connect with others and grow a social network.

Our senior living residents here at Episcopal SeniorLife Communities enjoy a range of services and amenities, including healthy dining options, to help keep their bodies healthy and their minds sharp.

Contact us today to learn more about our living options and to schedule a tour.

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