Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal Allergies are dreadful! The weather begins to get warmer. You see the trees beginning to bud. Flowers are popping out of the ground. Then it starts. Sneezing. Itchy eyes. Headaches. Coughing. Stuffy nose. That sluggish, no energy feeling kicks in. Sound like seasonal allergies to you?

It’s all related to pollen. Our bodies release antibodies when it encounters an allergen and that releases histamines that create the dreaded symptoms that make you feel miserable. Tree pollen starts in mid-March and lasts through the end of May. Then grass pollen usually starts in early May and last through July. This is followed by ragweed in August through the first frost. When you are sensitive to pollen, the beauty of spring and the lazy, hazy days of summer may be a struggle for you.

This year choose to get ahead of your allergy problems with these tips.

Choice #1. If you live in a moderate climate such as the mid-South, make a trip to your local pharmacy before blooms appear. Do it before the trees begin releasing pollen. Stock up on nasal sprays, antihistamines, decongestants or whatever has given you relief in the past. If you need a prescription refill, take care of that now. Your goal is to start taking the needed medications two weeks prior to the start of pollen season.  Also, purchase a saline nasal spray and use it two or more times each day. Saline nasal sprays do not prevent or treat allergies but washing out your sinuses frequently can reduce your allergy symptoms. Consider taking your allergy relief medications at night to help you sleep without congestion and to be ready to deal with pollen when it peaks in the early morning hours.

Choice #2.  Watch the news or your favorite weather app to know the pollen counts. Check out the many available Pollen Count Apps keep you informed of pollen counts where you live.  On high pollen count days, stay inside. If you must go out, wear sunglasses and a hat. Change your clothes and take a shower when you come inside.

Choice #3.  Get ahead of spring yard work now. On the warmer days this winter, get outside and take care of cleaning and sprucing up your yard. This will give you needed physical activity in the slower winter months and provide a jump-start on enjoying the spring season.

Choice #4.  What’s creates the havoc in your system when allergies hit? Your body’s immune system mounts a fight to attack the allergens and that creates inflammation throughout your body. It’s time to increase the number of fruits and vegetables that you consume. Filled with antioxidants, fruits and vegetables will help decrease your allergy symptoms. Remember, 4 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables are the minimum amount that you need each day. To help you breeze through allergy season, try to double the daily minimums. Another cooking tip is to use more turmeric. Indian curry dishes feature this noticeably yellow spice that has been known for its health benefits for centuries. Turmeric contains curcumin that helps relieve stuffy noses associated with allergies.

Choice #5. Drink up. Your body needs more water to help flush the toxins out of your system. Being fully hydrated will also help to thin the mucus produced by your body’s allergy response. This will lessen any congestion problems you may experience.  Also, drink Green Tea.  Research reveals numerous health benefits of consuming green tea. For allergy sufferers, green tea contains natural antihistamines and can aid your fight against inflammation.

Other Choices to Consider.  Vacuum your home frequently. Purchase an outdoor rug designed to trap the debris from your shoes. Change your sheets weekly and shower before bedtime to prevent allergens from landing on your pillow. Keep the windows of your house and car closed. Change the filter on your air conditioning system at the beginning of the allergy season and consider changing the filters monthly. Consider an upgrade to a HEPA filter. Wear a facial mask when doing yard work. A N-rated 95 filter mask is preferred if you can find them during the pandemic.

There are many over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs available to help you deal with seasonal allergies. Talk with your doctor about what will best work with your symptoms. 

On an average day, pollen counts rise during the morning, peak about midday, and then gradually fall. So, the lowest pollen counts are usually before dawn and in the late afternoon to early evening. Hopefully, getting a jump start before allergy season kicks in will assist you in having a pleasant spring and summer. 


Phyllis Fox
Master Certified Health Coach
Choice Wellness