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Once a year, plant pollen floats through the air, and seasonal allergies make their attack on humanity. With watery eyes, scratchy throats, and runny noses, allergies can be miserable! Some people grow out of their seasonal allergies when they reach adulthood, but others experience worsening symptoms as they age. Before we get into solutions, let's dive into the cause.
What causes seasonal allergies?
The common symptoms of seasonal allergies include dry eyes, sore throat, runny nose, and headache, among others. When allergens and irritants enter our nasal passages, our bodies' immune systems try to eliminate the potential threat by releasing histamines. These histamines cause common seasonal allergy symptoms like sore throat, blocked nose, watery eyes, and excessive mucus.
How to Deal with Seasonal Allergies
While allergy pills may alleviate allergy symptoms, they're not the answer to everything. Antihistamines often cause severe drowsiness and other various side effects, which make them dangerous to take regularly. Luckily, there are other ways that older adults can deal with seasonal allergies without taking medication.
6. Stay Inside on High Pollen Days
Seasonal allergies are directly dependent on the amount of pollen in the air. Some days have a higher pollen count than others. To avoid unnecessary allergy symptoms, we recommend that allergy sufferers stay inside on high pollen days. The general rule of thumb is to stay inside when the air is both dry and warm and avoid the hours from 5 am to 10 am, where the allergen count is at its highest. You can easily access your area's pollen count by watching your local weather station. You can also learn about the day's pollen count by searching "pollen count in my location" on your preferred search engine.
5. Wear Protective Clothing When Outside
When you have to go outside on high pollen days, make sure to wear protective clothing that will keep pollen from getting into your airways. Wearing sunglasses or goggles will stop allergies from irritating your eyes. Wearing a hat, scarf, or bandana on your head will prevent pollen from collecting in your hair and eventually falling into your face. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants will keep pollen from touching your skin, which will make for an easier clean-up when your day is over.
4. Maintain a Pollen-Free Home
Even when we stay inside and wear the proper clothing, pollen might still find a way into our home. While it's relatively impossible to remove all pollen from your residence, there are a few tips and tricks to keep indoor pollen managed. The first thing you can do is wash your hands and shower after you go outside on high pollen days.
Remove any clothes that you wore outside and immediately place them in the washing machine - do not throw them in the hamper because this may cause irritants to stick around. Also, regularly bathe and groom pets to remove any allergens that are trapped within their fur.
3. Try Nasal Cleaning Products
A natural way to find relief from seasonal allergies is to test out nasal cleaning devices. Many nasal irrigation products on the market will effectively clear out the nasal passageway, remove allergens, and reduce symptoms.
2. Focus on Gut Health
A healthy gut microbiome is filled with bacteria which is designed to keep our immune system functioning correctly. Research has recently discovered a correlation between a healthy gut microbiome and fewer seasonal allergy symptoms. The best way to improve gut health is to sleep well, lower stressors, and eat nutritiously. Great gut health foods include beans, peas, oats, garlic, onion, and collagen-boosting foods.
1. Experiment with Natural Remedies
If you're not interested in medication, but you want to find relief from your seasonal allergies, you're in luck! There are tons of different natural remedies for treating allergy symptoms, like turmeric, butter bar, stinging nettle, bromelain, quercetin, vitamin C, garlic, and locally crafted honey.
Dealing with seasonal allergies as an older adult can be difficult, but not impossible! You don't have to be afraid of pollen anymore. You can treat your allergies with antihistamine medication, natural remedies, and sinus cleaning devices. You can also reduce symptoms by wearing the proper gear and avoiding high-pollen days. With so many different ways to battle seasonal allergies, there's no way you can lose to the allergy season!
Let us know in the comments below - How do you manage your seasonal allergies?