Surviving Spring With Allergies

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Ahh ...Spring. The flowers are blooming, the weather is heating up, and if you listen carefully, you can hear the collective groan of allergy sufferers everywhere.

For many people around the world, this time of year equals a blocked sinuses, runny nose, irritated eyes and a whole lot of pain.

The main culprit also happens to be the cause of all the colours this time of year - pollen. When spring rolls around, flowers, grasses, trees and weeds release tiny grains into the air to reproduce. When these particles find their way into the body, it triggers a defensive allergic reaction in some people, releasing histamines into the blood that cause itchy inflamation.

Here is our guide for surviving this pollinated season.

Avoid the wind and try to stay indoors on windy days, as this is a recipe for disaster for allergy-sufferers who are guaranteed to pick up some unwanted pollen. Mid-morning to mid-afternoon has the highest pollen count, so if you must go out, consider covering your mouth with a scarf. You may feel silly, but it’s worth it to avoid an itchy, runny face! Embrace cloudy, still days, as pollen counts will be at their lowest.

Wear your armour, as skin irritation can also be a symptom of hay fever. If you work outside, invest in a face mask and wear gloves, sunglasses, pants and long sleeves to shield yourself from allergens.

Keep your doors and windows closed, in your car, home and office. Stay away from electric fans which may distribute allergens throughout the air.

Wash your clothes and hair regularly, especially when you’ve been outdoors, as pollen likes to hang around on our bodies.

Bribe your non-allergic family members to do the cleaning and mowing, or hire the professionals. As many allergy-sufferers will know, vacuuming, dusting and freshly cut grass can be an immediate trigger for irritating allergies, so use this excuse to your advantage and try to be out of the house when these tasks are being done.

Use anti-allergy plants in your backyard. Certain plants rely on insects to distribute their pollen, rather than releasing them into the air. Do your research before landscaping.

Groom your pets regularly and keep them off your couch and bed, as pet hair is a haven for pollen.

Ditch the clothesline. While drying your clothes outdoors is an energy efficient practice, your clean clothes may act as a pollen catcher in the breeze! Dry your clothes indoors to minimise your symptoms.

Pay attention to the forecast, as many meteorologists will monitor pollen levels daily. Avoidance is always the simplest cure!

Take your shoes off when your get home to avoid tracking allergens throughout your home.

Watch your diet and be sure to include foods with vitamin C, omega-3 and probiotics, as these can reduce inflammation, strengthen your immune system and reduce histamines.

Invest in a specialised air conditioner for reducing irritants. Panasonic's nanoe™ technology inhibits 99,9% of certain types of pollen, bacteria, viruses and mould in fabric elements.

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