The human body has a powerful defense system called the immune system. When it recognizes foreign substances, it reacts by producing various substances to destroy them. In some instances, the immune system may overreact to a potentially harmless object called an allergen. Since the immune system can keep the memory of the allergens, a subsequent exposure will trigger an immune reaction.
Allergens can be any substance, for instance, pollen, mold, animal dander, and various foods, especially proteins. Spores from mold and pollen from trees, flowers, weeds, and grasses are the leading causes of seasonal allergies. Consequently, it is prudent to know the seasons when spores and mold are predominant to take precautions.
Plants tend to release pollen during spring. On the other hand, dust mites, which are also a common cause of allergy, are common during winter. Additionally, mold spores are usually released during the fall. It is wise to take some precautionary measures if you have hay fever or any known allergies to mitigate the side effects of allergic reactions.
Simple Ways to Protect Yourself from Seasonal Allergies
Allergies have no cure. Therefore, you have to protect yourself from allergens to prevent symptoms and complications.
1. Stay Indoors
During spring, when flowers blossom, plants are likely to release more pollen. Although you may have the urge to enjoy the beauty of nature, you should remember that you are allergic to pollen. The most reliable way to prevent an allergic reaction is to stay inside your house, especially when it is pretty warm and windy. If you need to get out, do it at the times when the pollen count is reasonably low.
It is not enough to stay indoors and open your window facing a meadow or garden. It is prudent to keep the doors shut since the wind can carry pollen into the comfort of your house. Besides, you can turn on your air conditioner to keep your home cool and keep the pollen out. In cases where you have to do outdoor chores, wear sunglasses, a mask, and a hat.
2. Wash Your Bedding Frequently
One study done by the National Institute of Health showed that allergies associated with dust mites peak during winter. Congestion, poor ventilation, and high humidity encourage dust mites. Bedding and other fabrics tend to harbor dust mites whose waste triggers an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.
Therefore, it is advisable to routinely wash your bedding, preferably using hot water to kill the mites and get rid of their waste. It is prudent to clean all the sheets, pillowcases, and duvets of your twin XL bedding. Besides, you can air your bedding frequently and allow sufficient ventilation to eliminate dust mites.
3. Shower After Outdoor Activities
When you return to the house during an allergy season, you should take a shower to eliminate any pollen that may have fallen on your clothes or skin. Additionally, you should wash the clothes and dry them properly, away from pollen sources. Remember, pollen can stick to your clothes, so it is prudent not to shake the clothes because they can release pollen into the air. If possible, let someone who is not allergic to pollen wash your clothes. Besides, changing clothes after the shower ensures no pollen gets to your bed.
Interestingly, if your pet has been outdoor all day long during spring, it will be helpful to clean it. For instance, you can bathe your dog to remove any pollen or spores that may be trapped in its fur.
If you have a known allergy to seasonal allergens, it is prudent to take appropriate medication before the season starts. For instance, you can get an allergy shot to reduce your sensitivity to the allergen. The shot offers long-term protection. However, you can get a booster before the season begins. Additionally, you can buy over-the-counter medication for allergies, particularly antihistamines. The medication will reduce the severity of the symptoms in case you get exposed to an allergen.
5. Know Your Allergens
The science of allergy is complicated. Your allergens may be different from another person’s allergens. So it is prudent to know what substance triggers your immune system and endeavor to avoid it.
Allergies are not curable; therefore, necessary precautions are paramount in preventing related complications, chiefly anaphylaxis. In the event of a severe allergic reaction, consult your doctor immediately.