Pollen, pollen everywhere
By: William M. Mingus, III
Today is the first day of Spring. The yellow hue on our cars and driveways can only mean one thing: the flowers and trees are starting to bloom. If you are one of the millions of people, like me, who have seasonal allergies, it also means sneezing, congestion, runny noses, and other bothersome symptoms. Before you board up your windows and refuse to go outside until the “pollen cyclone” is over with, try these simple strategies to keep seasonal allergies under control.
To reduce your exposure to the things that triggers your allergies the Mayo Clinic gives some excellent tips and tricks.
•If possible, stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
•Shower and wash your hair after being outdoors. The natural oils that keep your hair shiny also build up on your hair to attract and trap pollen, dust, and allergens.
•Avoid using hair sprays, gels, mousse, or any hair product designed for hold because they attract and hold onto pollen.
•Don’t hang your laundry outside to dry, pollen can stick to sheet and towels.
•If pollen counts are forecasted, start taking allergy medications before your symptoms start.
•Avoid outdoor activities in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.
• Clean your floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.
•Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
For many people, over-the-counter medicine is enough to ease symptoms. There are other natural options you can try.
•Local honey- Bees create their honey from what’s around. So their honey contains trace amounts of the very pollen that could be making you feel sick. A tablespoon will not immediately relieve your allergy symptoms; it can help naturally reduce your symptoms over time.
•Apple cider vinegar- This may be the most useful and versatile condiment in your kitchen. It can help clean your showers, make dressings and marinades, reduce heartburn, and work as an amazing allergy remedy. It helps reduce mucous production and cleans your lymphatic system. The quick approach is to swallow a tablespoon. For a tastier option, add a tablespoon to a cup of hot water with a small bit of honey.
•Neti Pot/Nasal Sprays- Nasal passages are an elaborate system of tiny passageways that can easily trap dirt, dust, and pollen. Until they are expelled your body will keep trying to flush them out of your system aka runny noses. Neti pots flush your nasal passageways and relieve allergy symptoms. If the neti pot is not for you, nasal sprays work the same way.
If you cannot find any relief, see your doctor. Tiptoe through the tulips and take time to smell the roses…after you take your antihistamines.