Fifty million Americans have allergies according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. They’re a major cause of chronic illness. Havwwaing allergies can be a headache. Literally. Symptoms will show up, seemingly out of nowhere. To keep allergies in check, follow these tips.
Use a nasal rinse kit regularly
When my allergist handed me a water bottle and told me to rinse my nose out with saline and water, I was hesitant. After trying the rinse, I’m a full believer in how much the liquid helps ease sinus pain. Getting used to the feeling does take time. “I think it’s important for patients to know that for the first several times they do it, it’s a very unusual sensation. Humans are not used to having water in their nose,” Dr. Amol Bhatki, director of the Skull Base Center at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, told U.S. News.
Close your windows
Seasonal allergy sufferers should keep their windows closed, especially during pollen season. Don’t drive with your windows open either. “Using an air conditioner in your car can cut the amount of pollen you breathe by as much as 30%,” Myngoc Nguyen, MD, chief of allergy at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Northern California, told Health magazine. What you don’t see when you have your windows open is all the allergens infiltrating your home and car. Keeping windows closed will help minimize allergy symptoms.
Invest in an air purifier
Indoor irritants can cause allergy symptoms to flare up. Shape cited a study in the journal Indoor Air stating “almost half of seasonal allergy sufferers are also bothered by irritants such as fragrances and cleaning products.” Get an air purifier to further filter the air. Look for HEPA air purifiers like this one from Honeywell.
Take more showers
“The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends stripping off your shoes and clothes and showering immediately if you’ve been weeding, pruning, or planting,” ABC News says. Even if you haven’t been gardening, showering after being outside is beneficial. Showering will remove allergens from skin and hair. ABC News says, by removing allergens, they won’t spread throughout your house.
Change clothes more often
After spending an extended period of time outdoors, change clothes. Allergens can cling to clothing causing symptoms to rear their ugly heads. Similarly to taking more showers, putting on clean clothes can minimize the number of allergens brought inside. Wash your face too. “At the very least, gently clean your eyelids with a little baby shampoo each evening,” Clifford W. Bassett, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, told Shape.
Wash clothes in hot water
Forget washing clothes with cold water. For allergy sufferers, hot water is key. According to Shape, “Korean researchers recently found that water heated to 140°F eliminates virtually all allergens, including pollen and dust mites, sneeze-causing organisms that thrive in humid weather.” Wash your bedding and clothes in hot water to further prevent allergens from giving you problems.
Don’t mow the lawn
One way to get out of mowing your lawn is having allergies. Mowing the lawn for an allergy sufferer can immediately trigger symptoms. From personal experience, simply being outside while someone else is mowing the lawn irritates my sinuses and eyes. For those who live alone, who have no choice but to mow the lawn themselves, measures can be taken to minimize irritation. Allergic Living recommends taking an antihistamine before firing up the lawn mower and wearing a protective mask. You may get odd stares from your neighbors but you won’t be miserable afterwards.
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