The sun is shining, flowers are blooming and birds are singing. But noses are running, eyes are puffy and throats are scratchy. Not only is it Spring, but it is allergy season as well.
Allergens are what cause those uncomfortable symptoms. They are common, usually harmless things, such as pollen, mold spores, animal dander (dead skin flakes and saliva), dust, foods, insect sting poison, and drugs. Allergens are what make people who have allergies sneeze, wheeze, cough or have other symptoms. Allergies are also a common trigger for asthma symptoms.
Allergies are typically genetic. A child whose parents have allergies is more likely to have allergies too. There isn't a cure, but there are ways to control allergies.
First, know what you are allergic to. Your health care provider can help you figure that out. People are allergic to different things. Knowing what makes your symptoms worse can help you avoid those things. Second, get medicine, if you need it. Again, your health care provider can make recommendations of over-the-counter or prescription treatment if that's what is appropriate for your symptoms. And finally, limit the allergens you are around. Here are a few tips for limiting allergens:
- Use mattress and pillow covers that block dust mites
- Wash linens and clothing in hot water
- Use a HEPA filter vacuum trigger
- Remove stuffed animals from bedrooms
- Keep bedroom windows closed to avoid pollen
- Shower and rise hair before bedtime to avoid bringing allergens to bed
Information from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.aap.org/healthtopics/asthma.cfm