Weekly Wellness: Allergies 101

2 years 9 months 3 weeks ago Monday, May 04 2015 May 4, 2015 Monday, May 04, 2015 12:50:00 PM CDT May 04, 2015 in News
By: Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach
loading

COLUMBIA - Sneezing. Coughing. Red eyes. It's miserable. Allergy season. So many of my clients are affected by seasonal allergies. It can wreak havoc on your lives - and on your ability to exercise. When you feel lousy, it's difficult to want to do anything but lie around (sometimes with a cold compress on your eyes) and try to breathe. So here are some tips to try to get through the season.

The Physicians' Desk Reference defines allergies as a short-term inflammation of the mucous membranes that line the nasal passages generally caused by airborne pollens from trees, grasses, flowers, and weeds.

It is reported that allergies affect 40 million Americans and cost more than $1 billion in annual treatment costs. The standard reactions include sneezing, itchy throat, headache, swollen sinuses, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. Even more people experience a dry cough, impaired sense of taste or smell and sleep disturbances.

While some allergies can develop later in life, they generally enter our lives before age 20. The average age that allergies begin is 10 years old. Just like other immune system problems, allergies tend to run in families. More than half of hay fever sufferers have a close relative with a history of allergies.

To reduce your exposure to potential allergen triggers, the Mayo Clinic suggests this list:

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days - the best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
  • Remove clothes you've worn outside; you may also want to shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair.
  • Don't hang laundry outside - pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
  • Wear a dust mask if you do outside chores.
  • Take extra steps when pollen counts are high.
  • Close doors and windows at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.
  • Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.
  • Keep indoor air clean.

What can you do at home to help?

  • Use the air conditioning in your house and car.
  • If you have forced air heating or air conditioning in your house, use high-efficiency filters and follow regular maintenance schedules.
  • Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
  • Use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter in your bedroom.
  • Clean floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.

The Mayo Clinic gives this list of nonprescription (over the counter) medications can help ease allergy symptoms:

  • Oral antihistamines. Antihistamines can help relieve sneezing, itching, runny nose and watery eyes.
  • Decongestants. Oral decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Afrinol, others) can provide temporary relief from nasal stuffiness.
  • Nasal spray. Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can ease allergy symptoms and doesn't have serious side effects, though it's most effective when you begin using it before your symptoms start.
  • Combination medications. A number of allergy medications combine an antihistamine with a decongestant.
  • Rinsing your nasal passages with distilled, sterile saline solution (nasal irrigation) is a quick, inexpensive and very effective way to relieve nasal congestion. Rinsing directly flushes out mucus and allergens from your nose.

For many people, avoiding allergens and taking over-the-counter medications is enough to ease symptoms. But if your seasonal allergies are still bothersome, see your physician. He or she may recommend that you have skin tests or blood tests to find out exactly what allergens trigger your symptoms. Testing can help determine what steps you need to take to avoid your specific triggers and identify which treatments are likely to work best for you.

In the meantime, keep your chin up and tissues close by. It should be over soon (we hope).

 

More News

Grid
List
FAYETTE - Black History Month is coming to an end, but there's still a lot to celebrate. Members of the... More >>
17 minutes ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 5:58:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Having a healthy heart was a lesson for people of all ages on Saturday. People attending “Be... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 4:05:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police have taken a 13-year-old male into custody Saturday in connection with a social media post community... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 2:38:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a pedestrian has been hit and killed in a southeastern section of St. Louis.... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 1:39:04 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Cradle to Career Alliance hosted a symposium Saturday on what strategies they recommend to help increase your... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 12:24:00 PM CST February 24, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS — Two men convicted in a 2015 drive-by shooting of a St. Louis police sergeant have been sentenced... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:44:00 AM CST February 24, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD — A 75-year-old man has been found guilty of financially exploiting an older Springfield woman. Howard Roberts of... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, February 24 2018 Feb 24, 2018 Saturday, February 24, 2018 10:43:00 AM CST February 24, 2018 in News
Chesterfield, MO - Nearly two weeks after a shooting in Parkland, Florida that killed seventeen students and teachers, students... More >>
19 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 10:18:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some veterans living in or near the Truman VA clinic often have to make the drive to... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 8:07:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Ameren Missouri proposed an incentive program to install more charging stations for electric cars across Missouri. The program,... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 7:28:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
ST. CHARLES - The man accused in the death of trooper James Bava is facing lowered charges as his second... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 5:45:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department spent the morning investigating a possible threat against Columbia Public Schools. The post... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 4:27:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Show-Me State Games isn't officially until June, but the competition is already underway. More than 90... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 4:22:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Mary Ratliff grew up in the small community of Ripley, Mississipi. It is a community where she said... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 1:52:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
UPDATE COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools sent out a release Friday afternoon to the families of CPS, clarifying... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 1:46:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri has never removed a governor through impeachment. But after Gov. Eric Greitens' felony indictment yesterday, some... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:55:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
REPUBLIC (AP) — Police have seized five guns and two books from a 13-year-old boy officers allege had threatened... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:39:46 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Governor Eric Greitens was indicted Thursday afternoon on a felony charge of invasion of privacy. The indictment alleged... More >>
1 day ago Friday, February 23 2018 Feb 23, 2018 Friday, February 23, 2018 12:39:00 PM CST February 23, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
7pm 50°
8pm 48°
9pm 46°
10pm 44°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
6:30p
Wheel of Fortune
7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
6:00p
The Cleveland Show
6:30p
The Cleveland Show
7:00p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2018 Olympic Winter Games
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld