Your Allergy Season Survival Guide

Your Allergy Season Survival Guide

A change of seasons is often a very welcome thing. Trees blossom and flowers bloom, and weather often takes a turn for the better. However, the drawback to these lovely changes often brings with it the misery of seasonal allergies. While you can’t avoid whether or not you have seasonal allergies, there are ways that you can limit your triggers and manage some of your symptoms.

How Seasonal Allergies Affect You

If you take a poll of your office or group of friends, chances are good that you will find a lot of other people you know who also deal with the misery of seasonal allergies. But why are these allergies so common? It is actually how your body defends itself. Your immune system recognizes the seasonal environmental factors like pollen and molds as foreign matter, and rushes to produce antibodies to fight off these substances to protect you. This causes you to produce high levels of antibodies that go to your cells, where they produce a chemical reaction that causes the common discomforts most people collectively just call “allergies.”

Geographical Factors

Because every part of the country has slightly different plant life, you will be exposed to different allergens depending on where you live. New locations would eliminate exposure to the particular allergens that trigger you now, but you would likely be exposed to completely different allergens in the new environment. You may not be aware of those allergies because you haven’t been exposed to them yet, but it doesn’t mean you wouldn’t react to them. Trees, weeds and grasses are the main cause of allergies in Florida, we experience a heavy pollen season in the spring. In springtime, trees release their pollen from January to April, however, spring is not the only allergy season as many plants pollinate year round.

Weather Conditions

The forecast affects your allergies, too. Rainy and cloudy days may not be as much fun, but they are less likely to bother your allergies. Pollens get around more during hot, windy and dry weather, so you might want to limit your outdoor time on days like that.

How Allergies Affect your Eyes

Believe it or not, seasonal allergies can and do affect your eyes, too. Called ocular allergies, these symptoms cause your eyes to water and itch during most of allergy season. You may find contact lenses more uncomfortable to wear at this time. People with ocular allergies can minimize the symptoms with eye drops. Other things can cause ocular allergies, too, like exposure to fragrances, chemicals and smoke.

Allergy Symptoms

If you are one of the many people who suffer from seasonal allergies, you already know that the symptoms can be pretty unpleasant. During the peak of allergy season, most people experience some degree of itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, congestion, sinus drainage and headaches. You may feel rundown and tired and feel very similar to the way you do when you have a cold.

Fighting Symptoms

You may not be able to avoid seasonal allergies altogether, but you can manage the amount of exposure you receive. The most important factor in avoiding seasonal allergies is prevention. One of the best ways to avoid allergens is by staying indoors, which can be a real bummer if you are a nature lover. Consider also some of the following suggestions:

  • Keep your windows closed, especially at night, and use air conditioning. Air conditioning not only cools the air, but also dries it and cleans it.
  • Let someone else do the yard work. Raking leaves stirs up a lot of allergens, especially mold spores. Mowing the lawn can also be a big problem, especially for those who are allergic to grass.
  • Avoid letting your laundry hang to dry outdoors on a clothesline.
  • Change clothes and shower after spending a long time outdoors.
  • Ask your doctor about medications, many of which can minimize your allergy symptoms.

Staying Healthy

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t just a good lecture that you can ignore; it actually makes a very significant difference in the severity of your allergies. Making an effort to maintain healthy lifestyle habits improves your overall health and comfort, including the health of your eyes. Some of the healthy habits you should make an effort to incorporate into your life include getting regular exercise, quitting smoking, eating a varied and nutritious diet that includes a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated. Make sure you rest your eyes regularly when you are working on a computer, too.

See Your Eye Doctor

Regular eye exams are important to keep up with vision correction needs. But even if you don’t wear glasses or contacts, or if you are months away from your next scheduled exam, it can still be a good idea to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor when you’re dealing with seasonal allergies. If you are experiencing significant discomfort, such as red, itchy or burning eyes, your eye doctor may be able to help. The doctors at Valuvision are eye experts and can help provide you with information and care you need to make your life more comfortable during allergy season.

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