Allergy season can last all spring and summer for millions of Americans. Battles with asthma, congestion, hives, irritated eyes, itchy skin, runny noses, and sneezing become a daily norm this time of year.
Many people suffer from seasonal allergies, which typically occur in spring or fall. Hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis is triggered by exposure to pollen from trees, grass, and weeds.
In a recent report, the National Wildlife Federation and Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America warn that more allergy-provoking pollen will scatter throughout the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. due to climate change. This also results in longer growing seasons for highly allergenic trees.
Spring-like conditions are now arriving a good two weeks earlier than 20 years ago. Pollen-bearing trees are surviving over a wider range than they have historically due to the warmer weather. There is also evidence that ragweed, the biggest allergy trigger in America, grows faster as carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere.
Pollen is just one problem, albeit a seasonal one. Other environmental allergens include dust and molds, Dr. Joseph Mercola points out.
Aside from the symptoms mentioned above, environmental allergies can also cause bedwetting, ear infections, fatigue, hyperactivity, the inability to concentrate, joint and muscle pains, and sleeplessness.
The good news is that you can minimize your exposure to environmental allergens to some degree. Here are 10 tips from Dr. Mercola:
1. Get a quality air purifier and water filtration system for your home.
2. Close your windows to prevent pollen from entering.
3. Minimize your early and mid-morning activities – between 5-10 a.m.–when pollen levels are the highest.
4. Stay indoors when pollen levels are high and during windy days.
5. Close your car windows when driving.
6. Use a dryer for your laundry as pollen may collect in clothes when left to dry outdoors.
7. Avoid mowing the lawn.
8. Wear natural fabrics.
9. Use a non-synthetic mattress with 100 percent cotton sheets.
10. Avoid grains and sugars which decrease your body’s ability to handle the allergens.