Weekly Wellness: Allergies 101

3 years 2 months 2 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
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's choice for the Supreme Court has given members of Congress a pile of material... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:52:51 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The maker of a permanent contraceptive implant subject to thousands of injury reports and repeated safety restrictions... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 2:28:05 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The man accused of carrying out last month's deadly shooting at a Maryland newspaper has been indicted on... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:42:30 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The 2018 Show-Me State Games kick off Friday, bringing thousands of athletes, coaches and fans from around the... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 1:15:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
ASHLAND – Seven locations throughout the state are open Saturday for parents to come and get their children I.D.’d, free... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:58:00 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Gracelyn Mae Violet Griffin already had a "Little Nugget" onesie picked out for her before she arrived in... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 12:35:28 PM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An organization backing one of three competing medical marijuana initiatives in Missouri has continued to bring... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 11:26:00 AM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - A group of Columbia moms is starting Missouri Disability Empowerment, a new organization with big goals to help... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, July 21 2018 Jul 21, 2018 Saturday, July 21, 2018 6:33:00 AM CDT July 21, 2018 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - 64 years later, a different lake and nearly triple the death toll, the duck boat... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 9:12:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- Russian intelligence operatives attempted to hack into the online accounts of staffers on three congressional campaigns in the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:46:27 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — As Charlotte, North Carolina, celebrates being chosen Friday to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, an... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 8:05:32 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A cardiologist who treated former President George H.W. Bush was killed Friday morning in a bicycle-to-bicycle drive-by shooting... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 7:34:02 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department will move into a new neighborhood over the next few weeks. In July,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 6:41:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Steedman man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of domestic... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A Missouri man has pleaded guilty in the fatal beating of his 77-year-old grandmother while he... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:59:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The FBI is in possession of a recording between President Donald Trump and his former personal attorney Michael... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 3:38:16 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY – House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty will resign from the Missouri House of Representatives effective Sunday in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 12:57:00 PM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
COLE COUNTY — The Cole County Sheriff’s Department responded to possible weapons violation on Thursday night. When the officers... More >>
1 day ago Friday, July 20 2018 Jul 20, 2018 Friday, July 20, 2018 11:47:00 AM CDT July 20, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 70°
3am 70°
4am 69°
5am 68°
6am 68°