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Spring Allergies and How to Manage Them

By Natalie Jewell

Sniffle, sniffle, sniffle. No, I'm not sad. It's my allergies.

While springtime, with its warmer days, blooming flowers, and tweeting birds may put a smile on the faces of many, for some of us it marks the time of the year when allergies flare up and we feel miserable. Am I right?

The most common type of spring allergy is allergic rhinitis, more commonly known as hay fever. You don't need to be around hay to develop it; many other types of grasses, as well as trees, weeds, and mold can be culprits as well.

Hay fever develops when something in the environment such as pollen, typically harmless for most of us, causes the immune system to overreact. It releases antibodies to attack the allergens and, in turn, histamines enter the bloodstream that trigger symptoms.

If you suffer from spring allergies, you're all too familiar with having itchy watery eyes, a stuffed and runny nose, a persistent cough, and those dreaded under eye circles no amount of concealer can hide.

So, besides stocking up on tissues, what can you do to get through spring allergy season? Although there is no cure, there are some things you can try. 

Treatment for Allergies

See your doctor to discuss your symptoms. You may be referred to an allergy specialist in which you undergo skin and blood tests to help determine exactly what you're allergic to and be provided with a treatment plan.

You can also seek relief from prescription or over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays, eye drops, or allergy shots. You may also want to try natural remedies such using a neti pot with warm sterile water to irrigate nasal passages.

Also, try to limit time spent outdoors during peak pollen count times, use air conditioning rather than keeping doors and windows open, have people remove their shoes before entering your home, vacuum and dust your house regularly, and wash up and change your clothes after spending time outdoors.

Although many plants are allergy-inducing there are many houseplants that actually help remove pollen and other pollutants from your home. Some examples are mums, peace lilies, philodendron, dracaena, gerbera daisies, as well as areca, lady, and bamboo palm. Plus, they look pretty.

Although you can't control what the neighbors plant, you should try to plant an allergy-friendly garden in your own yard. This means choosing shrubs, flowers, and trees that are low in pollen. Trees that flower, such as apple and magnolia, shrubs such as hydrangea and rhododendron, as well as beautifully colored flowers such as sunflowers, roses, and daffodils, are all good choices. The bees and butterflies will thank you, as they like them too!

So, there you have it. Hopefully, you'll suffer less from your allergies this year.

Happy spring!

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Roswell, Ga. 

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