Thought it was all over when you got through spring? Think again, summer allergies are coming next.
Americans suffer from allergies all year long and more than 50 million Americans are impacted each year. The question remains, what are some of these triggers?
There are many different triggers but the biggest one is pollen. Pollen is described as a fine powdery substance comprising of pollen grains. These are male microgametophytes of seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells).
This affects you since weeds and grass trigger these summer allergies. It all depends on where you live and what will make you sniffle or sneeze.
Weeds such as tumbleweed, Russian thistle, pigweed, sagebrush, cockle weed, and ragweed will make you sneeze and sniffle.
Grasses such as sweet vernal, red top, orchard, timothy, Bermuda, and bluegrasses will affect your summer allergies.
The most common allergic reaction out of the list of both weeds and grasses is ragweed. It accounts for up to half of all pollen-related allergies.
Ragweed origin can be traced to northwestern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Another common name for ragweed is burrobrushes and burgages.
One ragweed plant produces 1 billion pollen grains that can travel more than 100 miles from the plants origin.
This makes it impossible to hide from pollen grains created by ragweeds. They are literally everywhere imaginable. This is because the grains from the plant are blown by winds.
To make matters worse, smog around summer time can make your symptoms even more intense. This is because the bright summer lights mixed in with calm winds create an ozone around some parts of America.
Another thing that comes with the warm weather is insects. These little creatures include yellow jackets, wasps, bees, fire ants, and hornets that can increase stings. Some of these bites can actually be deadly and life threatening.
These are all case by case dependent but some can lead to severe allergic reactions but some can be minor like swelling and itching. In the worst case scenario, these can block your airway and make your tongue swell causing you to go into shock.
Let¡¯s take a look at some cures that will help you get through your summer allergies!
Liquid medicine might be a way to help combat allergy symptoms that include tearing, swollen eyelids, red and itchy eyes. Sometimes it might feel like something is in your eye or a burning sensation.
Whatever the case may be, Pataday could be a solution. Pataday is a prescription medicine that used to help treat the symptoms that are listed above.
The solution should help with 24 hours of relief and are effective.
Fatty fish to be exact will contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA), that will help ease allergy symptoms.
Isn¡¯t it always nice to eat food that will help cure symptoms?
It was found that participants who ate fish had reduced symptoms of allergies rather than participants that didn¡¯t eat fatty fish.
If you are a vegetarian or a person who doesn¡¯t eat fish, omega-3s can be found in other sources. These include such things as flaxseed oils, walnuts, and eggs.
Neti pots have been around for thousands of years and have been used in India. These pots have been used to flush away excess mucus and debris. This then clears the nose and sinuses to treat sinus congestion.
Once you have purchased a neti pot, it is fairly easy to use. Just add a quarter (or half) teaspoon of table salt into the pot and add lukewarm water.
Once you have mixed in the solution, lean over the sink, and tilt your head. Go ahead and put the spout of the pot into your nostril. The water will run through your nose and out the other nostril.
It's pretty simple.
Make sure you only use half the solution as you would do the above steps on the other nostril.
It is recommended that you do this twice a day (12 hours apart) and every time you come back from a long trip outdoors. This may vary and you might only do this before bedtime to prevent snoring.
It might seem obvious but controlling your environment is really important. It is important to know what exactly you are allergic too.
This is done by visiting an allergist and they would be able to run a blood test or a skin test to narrow down what exactly is the problem.
This will be helpful in determining what to avoid. If you have a pollen allergy, then staying indoors during high pollen seasons is important.
There is a website that looks at pollen forecasts and determines pollen levels. It also has an interactive map that showcases what areas to avoid.
Mornings and late nights are when there is less pollen in the air.
Montelukast, known by the popular brand name Singulair, is a prescription medication prescribed to treat asthma symptoms and attacks. They have been gaining popularity over the years to help treat summer allergies.
It works by blocking leukotrienes which are inflammatory chemicals that react to allergens. It fights substances that cause mucous secretion, fluid retention, inflammation and constriction in your lungs.
The medication is taken orally and is effective for children as young as 6 months and adults.
Some of the side effects of the medication are various sleep problems, headaches, and digestive issues. This is not a complete list of side effects and you should consultant a general physician before taking Singulair.
Quercetin is a natural plant compound that helps with stabilizing mast cells. It helps prevent the mast cells from releasing histamine, which is an organic nitrogenous compound.
Since it is a natural antioxidant, it can also help clean up free radicals (cancer cells).
Quercetin can be found in tomatoes, broccoli, onions, citric fruits, apples, tea, parsley, lettuce and even wine. Yes, wine!
These all contain high Quercetin but the recommended dose is 1,000 milligrams a day. It is hard to get that much Quercetin and supplements might be needed to be taken.
More and more treatment options are becoming available and one of the latest is Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT).
It is prescribed to people who are allergic to ragweed and miscellaneous grass pollens. It works by placing a tablet underneath your tongue for two minutes and swallowing it afterwards.
The purpose of this is to increase your tolerance to pollen and therefore decrease your symptoms.
There are two versions of SLIT, one includes a tablet form and the other one is a shot. The effectiveness of the shot is more than the pills but the pills offer a safer solution.
This solution is more long term and the tolerance needs to be built up over years. This treatment takes a few minutes a day but needs to be done twice a day for 3 to 5 days.
Another food group that can help control summer allergies is magnesium. The main purpose for magnesium is glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation and energy production.
The benefits of eating magnesium-rich foods include relaxing and opening up muscles as well as decreasing allergies.
Some foods that have high magnesium are seeds, nuts, avocados, dried fruit and dark chocolate.
It is recommended a dose of magnesium for adults per day is 400 mg for men and 300 mg for women. This increases by 10-20mg as you get older.
The best preventable measure is one that you can control. It is important that your house is clean at all times to help with pollen levels.
The first thing you can do is modify indoor environments which can help keep allergens out. By doing this, you will have less pollen inside your home allowing you to breath better.
Also, an air purifier can be bought to help clean out the air.
House humidity should be at 30-50% to keep away dust mites. Vacuuming with a mask should be done often to help with mold and dust trapped in floors and rugs.
This is a cost-effective measure that can be done to help with summer allergies. It can be as simple as putting on a mask while you are doing yard work or as simple as putting on sunglasses.
Keeping sunglasses handy to protect your eyes is very important. This will help reduce the amount of pollen that is coming in contact with your eyes.
Spending time outdoors can increase pollen on your body. It is important that you shower if you spend a large amount of time outdoors. This includes washing out your hair and changing your clothes.
If all else fails and these cures do not work, try Symbicort.
Symbicort is a combination of budesonide and formoterol. It is a medicated inhaler that is used to prevent patients suffering from a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (CPOD) and asthma. This bronchospasm is also prescribed to help with seasonal allergies.
Budesonide (Pulmicort) is a steroid that improves asthma symptoms by a decrease in inflammation and irritation, while Formoterol (Foradil) helps with long-acting bronchodilator that relieves bronchoconstriction.
It is recommended that you take two puffs of Symbicort twice per day (12 hours apart). Do not change the dosage of the Symbicort without the advice of your doctor.
Things you should avoid while using Symbicort is the second form of Formoterol, Salmeterol, or Arformoterol.
This can cause your body to fight infections and lower the blood cells.
Some of the common side effects of Symbicort include flu symptoms, cold symptoms, stomach discomfort, back pain and headaches.
This is not a full list of side effects; contact your doctor for further details.