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Alleviating Hay Fever: How to Have Fewer, Lighter Symptoms

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So, what can you do to relieve allergic reactions in yourself, a loved one, or your children?

Drugs and other treatments are common, but by taking strategic measures to reduce exposure to pollen and other allergens, you’ll make life easier and more comfortable for everyone.

First, it must be said that discussing the issue with a doctor or medical professional should always be the first step. Your doctor can help you determine if you are allergic to certain substances, and whether treatments and other advanced measures are needed, including both prescription and non-prescription measures. Whether you are taking medication or not, you can use these steps to reduce your symptoms...

Wash Clothes and Sheets in Hot Water

An article published by WebMD.com discusses the benefits of washing your clothes in hot water to remove allergens. It says that water should be 140 degrees F to kill 100% of the dust mites found on clothing and sheets. Hot water also removes pet dander and pollen more thoroughly than warm or cool water. Steam-cleaning can also be as effective as hot water.

Take a Shower Before Bed

At the end of the day, your body and hair can be covered in pollen, so if you go straight to bed without rinsing off, that pollen, as well as other allergens, will stay with you. Taking a shower before bed will help remove many of the allergens that are giving you trouble and will help reduce your overall exposure. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and wash your hair or beard, especially if either are particularly long.

Wear an Air Filter Mask When Mowing, Landscaping, or Gardening The mere act of mowing the lawn tosses a lot of dust, debris, and pollen into the air, making the chore almost unbearable for some allergy sufferers.

However, you can reduce your exposure by wearing a filtering mask while you do outside chores. If pollen and allergies cause eye irritation, you can also consider using a pair of goggles to keep particles out of your eyes. You might look silly to the neighbors, but you’ll feel much throughout the day!

Avoid the Outdoors During Peak Pollen Times

Certain seasons, as well as particular times of the day, can be better or worse on your allergies. According to Pollen.com, the highest pollen counts usually occur between 5:00 am and 10:00 am, so if you can avoid outdoor activities during these times, you’ll likely feel better.

A lot will depend on your specific region, but April and May are often the worst spring allergies months for tree pollen, while June and July (summer allergies) bring seasonal grass pollen. Ragweed, however, starts in the late summer and usually lasts into October. This weed is often found in cities because it can grow fast and thrive from small cracks in concrete.

Drive with Windows Up

Driving with the windows down gives you fresh air, but it can also contribute to your allergy symptoms. Even if you are traveling a short distance, keep the windows up to avoid exposing your lungs to pollen and other allergens. Keeping the windows up also keeps pollen from landing in your car, preventing future issues.

Clean the HVAC Vents, Replace Filters

Roughly once a year, have your HVAC vents cleaned. This has less to do with pollen and more with dust and indoor pet dander, but it can still remove many of the allergens that cause or contribute to hay fever. Replacing your HVAC air filter on a regular basis is primarily intended to maintain the quality of your home furnace, but can also ensure less dust is distributed throughout your home.

Keep Pets out of the Bedroom

Like a few of our suggestions, this one isn’t related to pollen, but to other factors that can make allergies worse. If you have pets in the home, you may enjoy having them in the bedroom. This provides a sense of companionship and, if it’s a dog, may even make you feel safer while you sleep. However, the pet’s dander is likely contributing to your allergies, making it harder to enjoy a good night’s rest. It might seem like a drastic step to some pet owners, but if you suffer from hay fever, you should seriously consider removing the pets from the bedroom to reduce your allergy symptoms.

Internal Causes of Allergic Rhinitis

We’ve talked a lot about various factors that cause allergic symptoms and hay fever, but what about personal factors?

Why is it that one person develops allergic rhinitis while another does not?

Let’s look at some of the personalized factors that may be causing the development of allergic rhinitis.

The first factor is genetics: a person with allergies is more likely to have children who also have allergies. There’s a theory that a single genetic glitch may be the cause of most people’s allergies, including allergies to pollen.

There is scientific data supporting the thought that food allergies are passed through genetics, so it’s not unfounded to think that airborne allergies could function in this way as well.

According to an article published in Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management, “there is clear evidence to support the concept that allergic diseases are influenced by genetic predisposition and environmental exposure.”

Determining the environmental causes of allergy development can be tricky. It’s tricky because you need to separate allergy development compared to allergy symptoms.

For example, you might find that allergies are higher among people in urban areas, but it’s possible the same rate of people, all over the country, have the same allergies.

Urban dwellers are simply exposed to the allergens more often, skewing the data.

Allergies are, in fact, more common in urban areas than rural areas, so where you live could be a factor.