There’s nothing quite like those first few days of spring, when the trees and flowers are finally in bloom and the air is warm enough to keep the windows open at night. But those glorious months after a long winter bring with them a whole lot of misery for the roughly 25% of the population that suffers from the most common seasonal allergies. And just when we think we’ve finally recovered from cold and flu season, April, May and June can be just as hard on the immune system. We’re here to help you find the clarity – and relief – you need to make it through.
You can blame springtime’s blooming trees, grasses and weeds (hello, ragweed!), which release pollen into the air, for seasonal allergies (or allergic rhinitis, if you want to get fancy). Oh, and a little thing called climate change. Depending on where you live, the season can start as early as February and last right through summer due to moisture levels that cause mold, temperature and the types of flora and fauna that grow in your area. We hate to break it to you, but this year’s shaping up to be a doozy.
Don’t fret. While allergies can be incredibly annoying and uncomfortable, there are a number of things you can do to survive the worst of it. First, make sure it’s not a cold you’re battling – there are distinct differences between the two, one of which will keep you away from work (not allergies). Secondly, take note of the “allergy outlook” on your local weather report. This will give you a good sense of just how sneezy, itchy or runny you’ll be that day – and help you decide how to armour up. Thirdly, work around them. This article outlines some great tips on how to make allergies more bearable, like planning vacations around the “trigger” months, closing windows during peak times and having someone else cut your grass. Hear! Hear!
There are oh-so-many over-the-counter medications available to combat your symptoms, but your best bet might be to give natural remedies a try. Reader’s Digest has 12 great suggestions to help cut back on seasonal sniffles, including things like spritzing your nose with a saline rinse, popping a fish oil supplement, cooking with turmeric and even wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. You might be amazed at how these little things can make all the difference – and maybe even save you having to go the conventional medicine route.
Allergies are no laughing matter and truthfully, they’re a total pain. The good news is you can find relief. It may take a trip to your doctor or an allergy scratch test, but it’s a small price to pay if it means kicking hay fever to the curb. Remember, to everything there is a season, and this too shall pass. Tissue, anyone?