Since nicer and warmer days finally came and the concentration of pollen in the air is now increasing, many people are looking for ways to prevent and mitigate pollen allergy. Temperatures are rising and trees are blooming, but the quality of life of the patients, allergic to pollen gets very worse during this time of the year.
Allergic diseases are the most common diseases of modern times. The survey, which covered the general population in the U.S, has revealed that about 25 percent of people have allergic rhinitis. It is a chronic respiratory disease, which affects the quality of life, sleep and work ability at school and at work. The symptoms are: runny nose, stuffy nose, itchy nose and sneezing.
In the case of an allergy to pollen, body’s defense system mistakenly recognizes its components as the hostile. Allergy to pollen is caused by pollen of grass, weeds, herbs, perennial plants, shrubs, trees and cereals. Urticaria or hives is often a skin disorder, which is characterized by itching, occurring daily or almost every day. It is also characterized by the studs, red bordered rashes. Hives are frequently caused by allergic reactions. The disease can greatly affect the quality of life.
Newer antihistamines (medicines used to relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and urticaria) are effective in relieving the symptoms of allergies, while not causing sleepiness (sedation). Beside the treatment, it is very important to avoid known allergens that are causing problems. Therefore, people are advised to track the forecast of pollen concentrations in the air and create their pollen diary.
Ways to prevent and mitigate pollen allergy:
- Avoid all known allergens – i.e. pollen (see blooming calendar)
- Stay indoors
- Before going to bed, wash pollen from your hair and leave the clothes outside the bedroom
- Dry the laundry inside – indoors or in a dryer
- Windows in the bedrooms and in the living areas should be closed during the day, ventilate them during the night (in rural areas) or early in the morning (in the city)
- Avoid outdoor activities; go for a walk when the concentration of pollen is the lowest – in cold and rainy weather, and early in the morning and evening
- Clean the nasal mucosa with the nasal spray containing salt water several times a day
- While traveling (especially outside the cities) car windows should be closed; use air filters that retain pollen in ventilation systems
- When moving in nature, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen
- Do not leave pets in the house or shower them before
Along with these measures, which will reduce exposure to pollen, people can also use other measures to fight against allergies. They should strengthen their immune system, give themselves enough sleep, regularly move and try to be as less subjected to stress. Enjoying omega-3 fatty acids, which are found primarily in fish oil, can also relieve problems with allergies and alleviate inflammation.
If ways to prevent and mitigate pollen allergy do not sufficiently mitigate the problems, people can try to treat the symptoms with over-the-counter antihistamines. Antihistamines stop the allergic symptoms, such as itching of the nose and throat and sneezing, by blocking the action of histamines. If over-the-counter medicines do not help, consulting with an allergists might be a good idea. Medical advice can help, if allergies are causing sleep problems or difficulty concentrating at work or at school. The allergists can also prescribe other medicines.
By Janette Verdnik