Are You Inadvertently Making Your Allergies Worse?
With allergy season well under way, many allergy sufferers are desperate to find effective relief. Unfortunately, everything from noshing on fruits to improperly self-medicating can make allergies worse – aggravating hay fever symptoms like watery eyes and sneezing. Even doing nothing and waiting for allergy season to end can cause trouble. Are you inadvertently making your allergies worse? Here are five things to be aware of if you have allergies.
Using an ionic air filter
Many allergy sufferers turn to air filters to help keep their homes pollen-free. Unfortunately, air filter use can backfire if you choose an ionic electrostatic room cleaner. Studies show that these inexpensive air cleaners actually do more harm than good. Ionic filters work by releasing charged ions into the air, which is actually an irritant for some allergy sufferers. Inexpensive central air filters may also cause problems. These filters need to be changed regularly in order to remain effective.
Eating fruits and vegetables
Studies show that many seasonal allergy sufferers also struggle with oral allergy syndrome. In fact, if you’re allergic to birch or alder trees, then eating an apple or handful of cherries can cause itchy lips and a tingling mouth. One out of every five people who experience grass allergies will also have an allergic reaction to peaches, tomatoes and potatoes. While these reactions are typically limited to the mouth, in rare cases patients will experience a systemic reaction and go into anaphylactic shock. If you have a grass, birch or alder tree allergy, talk to your doctor to learn more about potential complications from fruit and vegetable consumption.
Love opening your car’s sunroof to let the wind blow through your hair while driving? Enjoy a fresh breeze wafting through your bedroom windows? Think again. When windows are open, pollen can drift in and settle on your car upholstery, carpets and furniture. With pollen embedded in your house and car, you’ll end up suffering from allergies long after spring allergy season ends. Hate allergies? Then keep those windows closed!
When you’re struggling with watery eyes, a runny nose and constant sneezing, it’s natural to want immediate relief. If one medication doesn’t make a quick difference, many allergy sufferers quickly switch to another, hopping from one over-the-counter remedy to the next. Not all medications are the same, however, and even some over-the-counter remedies that promise instant results can take a little time to work. In fact, your daily habits may be altering diminishing the effectiveness of these medications. After all, if you’re driving around with the windows down in your car, then you’re constantly exposing yourself to allergens and aggravating your problems. Even the most effective medication can only do so much. Your best bet? See an allergist. An allergist can help determine exactly which allergens are causing your symptoms and recommend a personalized plan of action.
Ignoring your allergies
Millions dread the start of allergy season each year. Unfortunately, many cope with this dread by simply ignoring their symptoms and hoping the allergies will just “go away on their own.” Sorry, but that’s not going to happen! Your best bet is to take a proactive approach. Begin taking your medication before allergy season even starts. If you aren’t sure which allergens aggravate your symptoms, talk to your doctor. An empowered approach sure beats staying indoors for four straight months!