Managing Spring Allergies: Tips for Relief and Prevention

Spring has arrived, but for many individuals, it brings along the unwelcome companionship of runny noses and itchy eyes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 25% of Americans grapple with seasonal allergies. Compounding the issue, recent research indicates that pollen seasons are becoming both longer and more intense.

Dr. Nidhi Kumar, speaking on behalf of CBS New York, sheds light on strategies for finding relief amidst this seasonal challenge. Dr. Kumar attributes the exacerbation of allergies to factors such as milder winters, leading to earlier germination and heightened pollen counts. Climate change and increased carbon emissions further contribute to enhanced vegetation growth, resulting in heightened allergic responses such as sneezing, runny noses, and fatigue. Notably, she emphasizes that these symptoms typically lack fever, distinguishing them from infectious illnesses.

Beyond physical discomfort, studies hint at a potential correlation between mood disorders and allergies. Dr. Kumar explains that individuals with severe allergies face a higher risk of experiencing depressive symptoms and anxiety. The adverse effects of allergies on sleep quality, sense of smell, and cognitive function contribute to this phenomenon colloquially termed as “brain fog.”

Regarding medication selection, Dr. Kumar cautions against the indiscriminate use of decongestants due to their potential cardiovascular side effects. Instead, she recommends safer alternatives like nasal steroid sprays and antihistamines.

In addition to pharmacological interventions, lifestyle adjustments play a pivotal role in managing spring allergies. Dr. Kumar advises individuals to schedule outdoor activities strategically, avoiding peak pollen hours during midday. Furthermore, she suggests removing outdoor clothing and showering upon returning indoors to minimize pollen exposure. Keeping household windows closed serves as another preventive measure against pollen infiltration.

As spring unfolds, implementing these proactive measures can alleviate the burden of seasonal allergies, promoting a healthier and more comfortable transition into the warmer months.

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