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January 12, 2010 at 4:58 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Wake Up & Smell Spring Without Sneezing All Day Long

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

The thought of spring is exciting, until you remember the hay fever that came with it last year.For millions of Americans, hay fever is an annual drawback to the arrival of spring.The beauty of spring - the warm rain, the blossoming trees and flowers - is also the curse of those who suffer from hay fever.

What is Hay Fever?

Hay fever is the allergic reaction caused by pollens and molds produced by plants during the spring and early summer months.The medical term for hay fever is allergic rhinitis, and it causes sneezing, coughing, runny noses, itchy, watery eyes and wheezing.In the spring, allergies are usually caused by pollinating trees, while summer allergies are caused by grass and flowers.Pollen can travel different distances day to day depending on wind speed.Daily pollen counts are usually provided by weather services.

What is Pollen?

Pollen is the small, powdery grains flowering plants release in order to reproduce. It is carried to other plants by the wind or insets.Insects hold onto the pollen they are carrying (think bees), but since the wind blows all over the place, it is wind carried pollen that causes most seasonal allergies.We inhale the pollen into our nose and mouths, and these trigger the reaction.

How Can I Avoid Hay Fever?

You can avoid hay fever by limiting your exposure to the outdoor air and pollens.

  • Keep your windows closed in the house and car.
  • Wear a face mask if you must be outside for long periods of time during high pollen activity.
  • Remain inside on especially windy days.
  • Refrain from mowing the lawn if that is an irritant.
  • Wash bedding and curtains often.Don't hang them outdoors to dry.
  • Shower at night to avoid transferring pollens onto your bedding.
  • Exercise or go outdoors early in the morning or later in the day when pollen counts are lower.

How Do I Relieve My Hay Fever?

There are many ways to relieve allergy symptoms.Antihistamines and decongestants can relieve itchiness and congestion.Eye drops can relieve itchy, watery eyes.Be careful of over the counter nasal sprays as they can cause a physical dependency, making you need more and more.

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/got-hay-fever-get-to-work

Photo Credit: promanex

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