Autumn has come and you are not feeling well. you can’t stop sneezing and inhalation; The return of cold weather makes you feel not refreshed but miserable.
What’s going on? You may have a file pollen allergyAlso known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever. Thirty million Americans do this, and symptoms usually flare up in the fall.
Like all allergies, hay fever is caused by a malfunction of the immune system. Instead of attacking harmful foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, it attempts to neutralize the usually completely harmless “invaders” – in this case cannabis vaccine Cereals that fill the air from August through October (until the first frost).
In a person with hay fever, inhalation of these small particles sets off a chain of biochemical reactions, resulting in the release of histamineIt is a protein that causes the all-too-familiar symptoms. In addition to sneezingand congestion and fatigueHistamine can cause Coughing; Nasal drip is itchy eyesNose and throat. dark circles under eyes; And the Asthma attacks.
Ragweed: the main cause of autumn allergies
Many types of plants can cause hay fever, but the 17 species of ragweed that grow in North America pose the greatest threat. Three out of four people allergic to pollen are allergic to ragweed.
The vigorous annual ragweed thrives almost anywhere weeds and other perennials haven’t taken root – along roads and river banks, in vacant lots, etc. Over the course of one year, a ragweed plant can produce one billion grains of pollen. It does not fall to the ground without damage. Floating on the breeze. Pollen is found hundreds of miles in the sea and two miles in the atmosphere.
Given the abundance of pollen, what can you do to reduce symptoms?
Conventional wisdom says that people with hay fever should stay indoors during the morning hours, because the pollen count is higher at that time. Not so, says Neil Kao, MD, associate professor of medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Greenville. “I have reviewed 50 years of medical literature on this topic, and there is no evidence that people with hay fever can reduce their symptoms by staying indoors or being outdoors at certain times of the day. This is a myth even many GPs believe” .
But there are effective ways to reduce hay fever symptoms, including avoidance strategies and medical treatment — if that’s not enough. Here are six proven strategies:
1. Make your home a pollen-free haven
As much as possible during ragweed season, keep the windows closed and the air conditioner closed (and do the same while in your car). Turning on the air conditioner will also help remove moisture from the air, which helps prevent the growth of mustysays James Stankovic, MD, chair of the department of otolaryngology at Loyola University Chicago Stretch School of Medicine. “Mold can exacerbate hay fever symptoms.”
HEPA air filters can be useful, especially if your home is carpeted. One per room is best, says Kristin Franzes, MD, assistant professor of otolaryngology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. If that’s not in the cards, get one for the room you spend most of your time in – most likely your bedroom. You might also consider getting a HEPA vacuum cleaner – otherwise vacuuming may stir up pollen rather than remove it.
2. Wear a mask
A surgical-style face mask won’t be 100% effective at protecting you from pollen—”you’ll need a full-body protective suit to do this,” says Francis. But a mask can greatly limit your exposure, and is worth wearing when you venture outside to the garden, mow the lawn, play sports, etc.
Look for a face mask with a rating of “N95” from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). You should be able to purchase one at a drugstore or home supply store.
“I know it’s not fun to wear a mask, but it will really help you inhale all the pollen and mold,” Kao says. “The key is to use it correctly. It should fit tightly around the mouth and nose – feel around to make sure no air gets in around the edges.”
When you come from outside, wash your face and hands. If you have been exposed to outdoor air for a long time, take a shower and replace your clothes with clean clothes.
If you share your home with a furry friend who is venturing outside, brushing and bathing outside will help prevent pollen from being tracked indoors.
4. Watch what you eat
Because they contain proteins similar to those found in ragweed, some foods can be aggravated allergy symptoms. Stay away from bananas, watermelon and chamomile.
5. Rinse your nose
Use a saline solution to wash pollen from your nose and paranasal sinuses It can be very effective in reducing hay fever symptoms. Experts say that a quick spray into each nostril is not enough. use neti pot Or irrigation without a prescription.
6. Track pollen
On days when the pollen count is particularly high, stay indoors as often as you can. For a reliable count of pollen (and mold spores) in your area, go to https://www.aaaai.org/nab/index.cfm.
If these pollen avoidance strategies fail to bring relief, medical treatment may be appropriate. change recipe antihistaminesSuch as Claritin And the ZyrtecGenerally the first choice for mild to moderate symptoms (no need to pay extra for brand names, such as pharmaceutical Less expensive and just work).
If you are bothered by congestion as well as sneezing, runny nose and itchy nose, adding a decongestant Such as Sudafed must help. There are also combinations of antihistamines and decongestants available. These products generally include the letter “D” in the name, as in Tavist Dr.. (If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor if it’s OK to take decongestants. Some cause a potentially dangerous rise in blood pressure. blood pressure.)
For severe or persistent symptoms, a steroid nasal spray (FlonasAnd the nazonexetc.) may be useful. If you develop a file Sinus infectionsnaturally Antibiotics may be needed. Another option that works well for some patients is a leukotriene inhibitor, such as Singulair or have mercy. these pharmaceutical Blocking the release of leukotriene to help reduce ignition And other symptoms of allergic rhinitis. If symptoms are particularly bothersome, you may need immunotherapy (allergy shots).
Experts say the best approach may be to start treatment early and combine different treatments. No matter what prevention strategies and medications you decide on, don’t wait until the last minute to start using them.
If you’ve had hay fever in previous years, Kao says, you’ll likely have it again this year. Starting medications before symptoms appear can make them less severe and not last for long.
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