If you see someone wearing a mask it may not be because of the ‘rona it may just be because they don’t want to breathe in all the pollen flying through the air.
Those lucky enough not to suffer from seasonal allergies may not understand what the big deal is but let me paint you a little picture. The cells in your body are just minding their own business when all of a sudden the air raid sirens start going off like. Not like the weekly tornado test sirens that we all ignore, but like seek-a-bomb-shelter type alarm starts going off inside our body and our cells start freaking out. Histamine and leukotrienes start being produced causing an increase in blood volume resulting in congestion and inflammation [hello runny nose, sinus pressure, headache, flushed skin, itchiness, watery eyes] The histamine is how our cells are trying to combat all the pollen entering our body. The body knows this pollen is a foreign intruder. And since our cells make terrible preppers they have to fight. Unfortunately, the fighting wreaks havoc on our system making us feel terrible. It’s a vicious cycle.
So, what to do? Ideally, don’t go outside, seal up your house, and avoid any and all exposure to allergens. ← Not real practical though. Here are five things you can do to help control your symptoms to the best of your ability:
- Download an allergy app. There are a ton out there but based on recommendations and the reviews we like “Pollen.” It allows you to pinpoint where you are and then shows the pollen count, which pollen producer is the culprit for the day, and also allows you a space to track your symptoms.
- Take an ANTI-histamine. Makes sense right? If your body your cells are trying to turn off the air raid siren by over producing histamine then you should take an anti-histamine. Ok, doc, but which one? Whichever one works for you. You and your friend can suffer from the same allergies but both swear by different allergy medications. To each his own as along as it is helping you.
- Lock down your home. Keep your windows closed, shoes off at the door, vacuum regularly, and change the air filter in your house (change to a HEPA filter if possible). If you’re working outside wear a N95 mask to decrease the amount of pollen entering your body, and when you’re done working outside immediately take a shower and wash your clothes.
- Nasal sprays. You might be surprised to find out that according to the American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy “nasal steroid sprays are the most effective in treating nasal allergy symptoms.” What is a nasal steroid spray? Something like Flonase or Rhinocort.
- Fight well. If you’ve really hit the jackpot you may suffer from allergies and asthma. If this is the case, you may require an allergy pill that specifically combats leukotrienes. Remember, like histamine, our cells produce leukotrienes to fight off the pollen, thinking they are protecting our body from the foreign invaders but, as a result, your airways start to constrict, making breathing more difficult and wheezing may start. If you’ve seen an ad or had a prescription for Singulair and not sure why your doctor prescribed that medication over another one, it’s because it’s superpower is to fight against those leukotrienes, allowing the smooth muscles in the airway to relax.
If your symptoms are more than you can manage on your own, see a doctor, whether that be us at Alpha Omega Elevation + Wellness or maybe even an allergy specialist. Many medication exist over-the-counter to help. I’ve been there staring at all the medications wondering which one is the best option and then looking at the price tag trying to weigh just how bad my symptoms really are. Your symptoms may require a prescription medication or at least a conversation with a doctor who can help you navigate all the different medications.