Spring is finally in the air! Warmer weather, pleasant breezes and beautiful blooms entice us to once again enjoy the outdoors. But pesky seasonal allergies can quickly put an end to our enjoyment. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, over 50 million Americans suffer with allergies each year and allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S.
Seasonal allergies, like other allergies, develop when the body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to something in the environment. While there are indoor allergies that cause problems for some year around, most seasonal allergies are related to pollen. In the spring, grass, trees and shrubs release pollen into the air causing sneezing, itchy eyes, nasal congestion and scratchy throats.
At American Family Care, we want you to know you don’t have to suffer with your seasonal allergies. There are some prevention and treatment strategies that may help you find some relief:
- Keep those windows closed. As tempting as the beautiful weather is, avoid opening your windows this time of year. Using the A/C is recommended during high-pollen season and be sure to regularly replace your A/C filters.
- Stay indoors, especially on warm windy days. That’s when pollen counts surge. Also, remember that rain temporarily washes pollen away, but pollen counts usually soar after a rainfall.
- Avoid other triggers. Enlist some help with cleaning, gardening and lawn mowing this season. If you must do these chores yourself, be sure to wear a pollen mask. Remove all clothing as soon as you come indoors and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
- Treat your symptoms. Some people find relief from simply taking an over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamines. Others may need eye drops for itchy eyes or a decongestant for a stuffy nose.
If at-home or OTC treatments aren’t giving you any relief, there’s no need to continue to suffer. Pinpointing your allergy triggers has never been easier. A simple, single blood draw can provide you and your doctor with all the information you need to develop an effective treatment plan. Immunotherapy is one of the most effective ways to treat seasonal allergies. These injections, sometimes referred to as allergy shots, expose you to gradual increments of your allergen, so you learn to tolerate it rather than reacting to it.
With short wait times and an experienced medical staff that’s ready to provide you with quality care, there’s no reason not to seek out your local American Family Care for seasonal allergy treatments. Let us help you find some relief and get back to enjoying the season.