Every spring, many Canadians come down with runny noses, red, itchy, watery eyes, and congested sinuses. The culprit? Seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies are caused by pollen released into the air by trees, grasses, weeds, and plants. For those with seasonal allergies, airborne pollen stimulates the immune system and cells start to produce histamine, which result in the all too familiar hay fever symptoms.
One way to control your allergies is to reduce your exposure to triggers. Try staying indoors on windy days, and avoid doing any outdoor chores during the spring or summer months when pollen is at its highest levels. If you need to be outdoors, consider wearing a pollen mask to reduce your exposure. Check the local pollen levels (TV, radio, internet) daily to find out what to expect, and stay indoors when the pollen count is high. Consider proactively taking allergy medication before symptoms start, and to keep windows and doors closed during the spring months.
If you find that your symptoms are not going away or getting worse, try some over the counter remedies. Antihistamines such as Reactine can help reduce itchy eyes and runny noses. Decongestants and nasal sprays can help keep nasal and sinus passages clear. If you prefer to avoid ingesting medication, you can use a neti pot to flush out the mucus and allergens from your sinuses.
There are many different ways to treat seasonal allergies, the most important part of treatment is knowing what those allergens are. Try to identify which seasons cause symptoms, and if necessary see an allergist to identify which tree, grass, or plant pollen you might be allergic to. Seeing an immunologist for evaluation for allergy shots might also be an option for you as well.
If you have any questions or concerns about your allergies, consider booking an appointment with one of our GOeVisit practitioners to get the help you need!
GOeBlogger is a health enthusiast and avid reader living and thriving in vibrant Vancouver. When she's not nerding out at her laptop, you can find her exploring the beautiful BC coastline with her dog.
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