Stop Seasonal Allergies in their Tracks

Spring is quickly approaching which means budding trees, blooming flowers, and warmer temperatures. But for many of us, that also means the return of seasonal allergies. “In 2021, approximately 81 million people in the U.S. were diagnosed with seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever). This equals around 26% (67 million) of adults and 19% (14 million) of children. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction to pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds” (AAFA). Despite these statistics and the difficult symptoms, it is manageable. Continue to read about how you can manage your symptoms and make it easier to get through your day-to-day life.

What Are Allergies and How Do They Develop?

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and must protect the body from it. Sometimes these overreactions by the immune system are to substances that aren’t harmful. Individuals are not born with allergies; they can develop anytime over the course of life. But environment and family history play a big role on the development of your immune system. Allergies have no cure; however, the symptoms can be managed through a number of options.

Preventing Symptoms

  • Reduce your exposure to the outdoor elements.
    • Avoid gardening, lawn mowing, weed pulling, etc. on dry and windy days. Be sure to wash clothing after being outside. Wear a face mask outdoors if necessary.
  • Track the pollen forecast each morning.
    • Many websites and television stations will report the pollen levels each day in the Spring. The Weather Channel reports different kinds of pollen and will show levels throughout the week and day.
  • Keep your indoors free from exposure.
    • Be sure to close your windows, disinfect, and vacuum often. Use air conditioning, dehumidifiers, and HEPA filters. What are HEPA filters? HEPAis a type of pleated mechanical air filter. It is an acronym for “high efficiency particulate air”. This type of air filter can remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria. Click here to read more and find options.
  • Try over the counter remedies.
    • There are plenty of options to help soothe symptoms by utilizing over the counter medications. Do some research and consult your primary care physician to see if oral decongestants, antihistamines, or nasal sprays can effectively help you. Click here to view your options.
  • Get your allergy shot.
    • When over the counter remedies aren’t enough, it is recommended that you get an allergy shot. “Shots are effective in treating reactions to many allergens, including trees, grass, weeds,moldhouse dustanimal dander, and insect stings” (ACAAI). Depending on the allergy, shots can be given weekly or monthly. Consult your doctor and click here to learn more about where you can receive your allergy shot.

Strategies for Employers

For millions of Americans allergies are unavoidable. But that doesn’t mean they have to control lives and negatively affect the workplace. Encourage friends and loved ones to check with their health care provider. By sharing educational resources about the impact of seasonal allergies and being flexible with schedules where possible, you can protect the health of your employees and community.