When we think about spring allergies, we're usually thinking about all the pollens being released outside, and the cleaning up of last year's dead shrubbery (and all the moulds that come with that). But for those with seasonal allergies, spring is a particularly rough time for a few other reasons you may not have thought about. When your immune system is already compromised, any stress on it can worsen allergic symptoms, so here are some of the stranger culprits you may not know about:
It's well-documented that stress exacerbates a number of health issues, and allergies are absolutely one of them. The reason is that when your body is stressed, it releases a number of chemicals and hormones -- histamines included. The increase in histamines means allergic responses can be heightened. Reduce your stress, reduce your reactions.
Alcohol increases the blood flow in your nasal lining, making it more sensitive to allergens. Skip the drink, save on tissues.
Ahh, spring time. Time to open up those windows and let all the allergens in, then stir them around with a nice cool fan blowing on you. Bad idea. Fans stir up dust and pollens already in the house, making your allergies worse. The less you circulate the allergens, the better you'll feel. So unless you're a great housekeeper, best skip the fan usage.
How's this for an excuse to get someone else to do the dirty work? Spring cleaning can exacerbate allergies by stirring up the dust that's so happily compacted itself in corners, carpets, under fridges, etc. All winter long it's been building up, and the moment you start to dust, you'll be sneezing. Since not cleaning isn't really a great option, either, you could have someone else do the cleaning, or wear a mask while you're doing it.
Betcha never thought about that hair product making you sneeze, did you? The sticky products we put in our hair traps allergens we collect outside during the course of our day. When you go to bed, they transfer to your pillow, which is why many people find their allergies worsen at night, or in their rooms. Showering at night is a great way to prevent this from happening.
If you're still looking for ways to alleviate those allergy symptoms, try one of these products, and some of the suggestions on this list.
photo credit: williambrawley on Flickr