The hay fever season which ironically has nothing to do with either hay or fever is upon us in the Spring. Over 35 million Americans suffer from hay fever each year, and according to experts, this season is shaping up to be one of the worst.
Hay fever sufferers are subjected to itching and watery eyes, stuffy noses, skin reactions, and other allergic reactions as high pollen counts invade the countrysides and city blocks of America.
Hay fever, or "seasonal allergic rhinitis," is triggered by tree allergens such as pollens or molds. The allergen triggers the release of histamine into the body which causes inflammation in the nose leading to the common symptoms of watery eyes, congestion, and sneezing.
So how do allergy sufferers get through the season?
One - Make it a habit to monitor the pollen count in your area. The National Allergy Bureau (NAB) has over 70 pollen counting stations throughout the nation.
Weather conditions, which can vary greatly, have a great impact on the pollen count. This means you need to periodically monitor the pollen count for a specific day. If the NAB is unreachable or inconvenient to you, be aware that some community newspapers publish the pollen and mold count as well.
Two - Control your environment by avoiding the pollens and molds that are making your spring miserable. Do this by making some of the following changes:
- Utilize your air conditioner to filter the outdoor air. In addition, change your heating and air conditioning filters every month.
- Pollen counts vary at different times of the day. Avoid peak pollen release times and limit your outdoor activity to the times when the pollen counts are at their lowest.
- Keep windows closed at night to prevent pollens or molds from drifting into the home.
- Wash bedding in hot, not warm, water. In addition, look for detergent formulas that contain additives to remove allergens such as pollens, mildew, and mold.
Three - make an appointment with an allergist. A certified allergist can assist you in identifying the exact allergens that are affecting you and provide you with a custom treatment plan (including pills, nasal sprays, herbs, and acupuncture) to alleviate your symptoms.
Finally - if you're simply sick and tired of being forced to hide indoors for much of the spring season, you might want to try immunotherapy or allergy shots. Allergy shots, administered over a series of months, will help to increase your tolerance to the allergens that trigger your spring allergy symptoms. While not a cure, immunotherapy can help greatly in reducing your sensitivities to allergies.
Disclaimer: The videos, posts, and comments contained in our *Health & Weight Loss Categories* on this website are not medical advice or a treatment plan and are intended for general education and demonstration purposes only. They should not be used to self-diagnose or self-treat any health, medical, or physical condition. Don’t use this website to avoid going to your own healthcare professional or to replace the advice they give you. Consult with your healthcare professional before doing anything contained on this website.