5 Tips for Managing Your Allergies

Stay healthy this spring

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Your dog could be what is exposing you to your allergen. Wash your dogs frequently and try not to get too close to them. Dogs carry pollen and other toxins in with them after playing outside and may expose you to them, causing symptoms.

Rachel Shogren, Health Editor

After a long winter, it is finally spring! Although all the pretty flowers and trees are finally blooming, allergies are also becoming popular. The most common symptom causing allergen is pollen. Nearly 50% of people in the US have a pollen allergy or seasonal allergies.
“I have seasonal allergies and I am also severely allergic to dogs and cats,” senior Mckenzie Yi said. “I have a bunch of other allergies as well.”
In spring, the pollen count grows because of the blooming trees. That thin yellow coat you see on your car in the morning may be causing you to show symptoms.
“My allergies affect me depending on what I am reacting to. It goes from the scale of breaking out in hives to me not being able to breathe,” Yi said.
Symptoms for a pollen allergy are similar to that of a common cold: stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, itchy eyes and skin, and increased asthma.
If you have asthma a pollen allergy may be more dangerous for you, be sure to check the pollen count in the morning and plan accordingly.
Northern Virginia is one of the most forested urban areas in the country, making the pollen count grow very high. NOVA generally has a very high pollen count so be sure to travel with tissues and medicine wherever you go.
Although seasonal allergies are very common, there is not a cure for them. Here are a few tips to make allergies more manageable.

1 Keep your home clean
People bring outside in with them when they get home, so make sure to leave your shoes outside in an effort to leave the dirt, and grass you’ve walked on outside too. In an effort to keep allergens and toxins out of your home, wipe of your shoes and leave them in the garage or laundry room.
Another common allergy is dust, so be sure to vacuum areas frequently. Dust builds up on counter tops, tops of cabinets and bookcases, so be sure to dust at least once a week to prevent buildup and symptoms from occurring.
Clean the tiles in your bathroom thoroughly. Mold like to build up in bathrooms and that will often cause allergic reactions and symptoms including sneezing, coughing, and wheezing. Scrubbing the tub will clean out these spores and make your home a little bit healthier.
Dogs are great for everything, even passing on allergies. Dogs run around outside in the trees where pollen is often collected in the hair and fur. Wash you dog before you snuggle up to him at night so he doesn’t make your symptoms appear. It might be hard, but skipping getting too close to your dog is the best bet.

2 avoid your allergen Obviously, if you have an allergy to something try to stay away from it. Those with peanut allergies avoid them but, it is a little more complicated when you have seasonal allergies.
With seasonal allergies, you don’t want to avoid going outside completely. Avoid being outside on days that are dry and windy because the wind tends to carry pollen right to you.
Give those chores such as mowing the lawn or pulling weeds to someone who doesn’t have seasonal allergies. Watch out for gardening too as that will make your allergies worse.
Although being outside may be causing symptoms, don’t avoid it completely, just be more careful.

3 take medicines and vitamins
There is no cure for allergies but there is no shortage of treatments. There are several pills, tablets, shots, and sprays that are helpful for allergies. The trick is finding what works for you and sticking it to it. Everyone has a different treatment.
“I usually have to wait out my reaction or I take Benadryl,” Yi said.
Ask your doctor for advice or get over the counter allergy medicine to help you with your symptoms.
Vitamin C is a preventative for getting allergies and sick. It also prevents and treats several other illnesses.
Vitamin C is an immune boosting antioxidant. It also cuts antihistamine levels, which cause allergies. Cutting the levels, lessen the symptoms and severity of them.
Vitamin C is found in foods such as oranges and fruit but can also be found as a supplement.
4 keep up good hygiene
Wash your clothes after being outside to get the pollen off of them as well as changing your clothes before laying on the couch or bed. Just by being outside, pollen and other allergens gather up on your clothes and by laying down, you are spreading those allergens.
Change as soon as you get home to prevent the spread of symptom causing allergies in your home.
Rinsing off after being outside is also smart to prevent the spread of toxins into your house.
Wipe off your phone frequently as it collects germs and allergens.

5 Change your exercise schedule
During the morning, pollen counts tend to be highest. Watch out for high pollen and take your run a little later. After school, pollen counts are still high, so you should wait till the evening. If you are running in the evening, be sure to wear bright colors so cars can see you.
If you are feeling a little under the weather because of allergies, don’t cut out your workout. Working out will increase blood flow and decrease your allergy symptoms. Increased blood flow also promotes the removal of allergens.