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Seasonal Allergies: 7 Facts About Causes & Treatment



Allergies flare up when you breathe in allergens like dust, pet dander, or pollen. It’s a condition that affects over 50 million Americans each year. Here are some common causes of seasonal allergies and how to treat them.


Opening Windows for Fresh Air

As the weather warms up, you may be eager to open up your windows and let in some much-needed fresh air. But, before you do this, keep your allergies in mind. The breeze and fresh air may feel nice, but it can also let pollen and other allergens into your home.


Furry Friends

Pet dander can easily float around your home. Even hypoallergenic pets are not 100% allergen-free, especially since allergens are found on the skin of animals (not just in their fur).


Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning can greatly help you eliminate allergens from your home. Some spring cleaning tasks are:

  • Vacuum and mop your floors to remove dust or pollen that may have gathered during the winter.

  • Move your furniture around in order to sweep and clean in hard-to-reach places where dust may get trapped.

  • If you have children, don’t forget to clean stuffed animals and blankets.

  • If cleaning products leave you sneezing or stuffy, be sure to use fragrance-free or hypoallergenic cleaners and detergents to help minimize your symptoms.

The Weather

After rain or storms, mold spores, grass, and plant pollen are disturbed and released into the air. The day after rainstorms, the pollen counts go up and allergy symptoms are triggered. Allergy seasons have also been getting worse due to climate change and the warmer weather it’s brought about.


Stress

A study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology found a link between allergy sufferers and stress. The study found that “individuals with persistent emotional stress have more frequent allergy flares.” To take the edge off of your stress, try yoga, meditation, or other ways to relax.


Pollen Count

While you’re checking the weather, check on the pollen count, too. The America Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology and local weather stations provide accurate, accessible pollen count information. Trees release pollen in the morning, so give yourself a heads-up on the pollen count before you start your day.


Over-the-Counter Medication

The best way to combat seasonal allergies is with the help of over-the-counter medications. In some cases, over-the-counter medications and reducing exposure aren’t enough. Make an appointment with your primary care provider for any persistent allergy symptoms that do not respond to over-the-counter medications!


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