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Our Top Tips to Help You Nip Those Springtime Allergies in the Bud

Reducing the impact of allergy season requires some planning and know-how. In many parts of the United States, including here in Manchester, Connecticut, allergy season begins in early spring and can last until early summer. 

Rely on the expertise of allergy and immunology specialist Reinhard Kage, MD, at Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut to help you rein in allergy symptoms. Dr. Kage has extensive experience helping patients manage even the toughest cases of spring allergies. Here’s what can make allergy season brutal and how you can best manage symptoms.

Why allergies strike in spring

Nasal allergies and allergic rhinitis, sometimes known as hay fever, can have a major impact on your life. Allergies rank as the sixth most common cause of chronic illness in the US. From constant sneezing and itchy eyes, allergy season can make you feel miserable.

During spring, trees, plants and grasses are flourishing. Pollen is the main spring allergy trigger, which makes this time of year particularly unpleasant if you’re allergic to pollen. 

Try these tips to help you avoid or reduce the effects of those springtime allergies:

1. Keep an eye on pollen counts

Watching local weather reports and using pollen-tracking websites and apps can help you stay updated on pollen counts in your area. On days when pollen levels are particularly high, try to stay indoors as much as possible, especially during peak pollen release times, which are typically in the morning.

2. Create a pollen-free sanctuary

Your home should be your refuge. To keep pollen levels inside your home low, close windows when pollen counts are high. Use a high-quality air purifier with a HEPA filter to capture pollen and other allergens from the air inside your house. 

Additionally, regularly cleaning surfaces around the house, using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, and washing bedding in hot water can minimize indoor pollen exposure.

3. Choose the right gear

Wearing sunglasses can help protect your eyes from pollen, while a wide-brimmed hat can prevent pollen from settling in your hair. If you're doing gardening or other outdoor activities, consider wearing a pollen mask to keep allergens from entering your nose and mouth.

If you’ve been outside for long periods, change your clothes and consider showering to rinse off any pollen you may have brought home with you.

4. Rethink your gardening strategy

If you love gardening but have allergies, choose plants that are less likely to trigger allergic reactions. Flowers, shrubs, and trees that produce less pollen or are pollinated by insects rather than by the wind are more allergy-friendly. Also, keeping your lawn short and removing weeds can reduce pollen production in your immediate environment.

5. Tweak your diet

Believe it or not, certain foods can worsen allergy symptoms, while others might help alleviate them. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids — such as salmon, flaxseed, and walnuts — have anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce allergic reactions. 

On the other hand, some fruits and vegetables contain proteins similar to those in pollen, which can worsen symptoms in some people — a cross-reaction known as oral allergy syndrome. Pay attention to how your body responds to different foods during allergy season and adjust your diet accordingly.

6. Seek professional help

Consider seeing an allergist if you’re struggling with allergy symptoms. Dr. Kage can offer more targeted treatments to help get your symptoms under control. If your allergies are particularly bothersome and fail to respond to typical treatments, you may be a candidate for allergy shots.

This form of immunotherapy gradually retrains your immune system so that eventually it’s desensitized to a particular allergen, bringing you long-term relief.

To learn more about allergy shots, and for top-quality allergy management, contact Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut to request an appointment today.

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