Spring is a time to welcome warmer weather, budding trees and blooming flowers. For 1 in 6 Canadians, it is also the beginning of allergy season. Depending on what a person is allergic to, allergy season can start in the early spring and last until the fall.
Allergy symptoms are caused when the body reacts to pollen from trees, grass and weeds. The body defends itself against these allergens by releasing a chemical called histamine. Histamine causes irritating symptoms including sneezing, stuffy or runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, itchy throat and headaches.
TREATING ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
Antihistamines: Antihistamines relieve allergy symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes and itchy nose and throat. They are available in tablets, liquids and eye drops. Different formulas exist, including non-drowsy and long-acting products.
Decongestants: These relieve nasal and sinus congestion and improve breathing. However, if drops or sprays are used for too long, they can make your symptoms harder to treat.
Vitamin Therapy: Taking vitamins can help to reduce inflammation and support your immune system. Commonly used vitamins for these purposes include Vitamin C with bioflavonoids, Selenium, Zinc and Omega-3, fish oils or flaxseed oils.
Immunotherapy: Sometimes physicians will prescribe injections of gradual doses of the pollen you’re allergic to. This controlled exposure is meant to help build your immune system response.
Environmental: To reduce your symptoms, stay indoors on dry, windy days and use air conditioning in your house and car. To reduce contact with indoor allergens, change your furnace air conditioner filters, vacuum carpets weekly and encase mattresses, box springs and pillows in allergy-proof covers.
DO YOU HAVE SEASONAL ALLERGIES AND ALSO TAKE MEDICATIONS?