Around 50 million people in the United States have nasal allergies, and if you’re one of those people, you know just how dreadful springtime can be.
Other people love the blooming flowers, but all you can see is pollen.
And with pollen comes the inability to breathe.
And with the inability to breathe comes a lot of frustration and discomfort.
To understand how to combat these allergies, we need to understand why our bodies react this way in the first place. Plants release pollen, the main cause of these nasal allergies, whenever they pollinate. This pollen enters our bodies and our immune system immediately produce antibodies that in turn produce histamine, which triggers the symptoms like congestion and itchy eyes.
So how can we get rid of these really really uncomfortable symptoms? The solutions are super simple, and thankfully don’t require a team of 5 superheroes to conquer them…
Before taking medicine, try simply altering your environment to control the pollen around you. You can check websites like weather.com to see your area’s pollen forecast and act accordingly. If it’s a particularly heavy pollen day, try to stay indoors and keep your windows shut. Also consider checking your air filters to ensure that they’re working effectively.
If you do need to go outside, be aware of when certain plants pollinate. Allergic to tree pollen? Trees pollinate in the morning, so it’d be better if you did your outdoor activities in the afternoon. Alternatively, you can wear a pollen mask and go about your errands.
Some herbs contain a chemical called a flavonoid that can prevent the effects of histamine and thus prevent the congestion from even happening! You’ll find these chemicals in teas as well as fruits and veggies, such as onions and grapes.
Fed up with your stuffy nose? Try a nasal saline solution to flush out the pollen. You can buy them pre-made at the store or make your own using these instructions. It makes sense – get rid of the pollen in your nose and relief should follow soon after.
If all else fails and you’re still horribly uncomfortable, try taking an over-the-counter medicine like Claritin or Zyrtec. They’re antihistamines that will block the production of histamine and provide relief from the accompanying symptoms. As always, check with your doctor to see if you should take these medications! Your doctor may also prescribe you a nasal spray if your symptoms are particularly bad.
Hopefully these tips will help you have a happier and more comfortable springtime – go out and enjoy the flowers and warmer weather! Have any tips of your own to combat allergies? We’d love it if you shared them in the comments.