It’s no coincidence that May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month; mid-spring is the time of year where much of the nation erupts with gorgeous leafy trees and colorful blooms – and did we mention grass?
Pollen counts are at an all-time high, so this is a great time to remind yourself, your family and your friends to take proactive action during peak allergy season.
Here are some tips to help you weather peak allergy season with deep and easy breaths.
Don’t take your asthma or allergies for granted – assuming they’ll always be there. Become an allergy/asthma sleuth and get to the root of the cause. Imagine the easy breathing you’d experience (or the decreased attacks, missed days of work/school, discomfort) you’d experience if you were to identify and eliminate the triggers.
If you’ve never had an allergy test, schedule one with your physician and learn exactly what you react too. You can also keep an Allergic Reaction (or Asthma Attack) Journal and note when/where/other observations about them to find common links.
Don’t let your inhaler or allergy medicine prescriptions run out. Refill them ahead of time so you always have them available if an attack occurs.
The most common symptoms of allergies include things like itchy eyes and itchy throats, runny noses and so on. However, other signs can also indicate you’re suffering from chronic allergies – such as a chronic sore throat, sinus issues and snoring, or eczema.
Bring these issues up with your doctor and you may find that what you thought was a common cold or other infection – is actually a case of allergies.
Did you know asthma and allergies can be exacerbated by your diet? Both conditions are considered “inflammatory responses,” and certain foods intensify inflammation in your body. Focusing on a healthy diet can keep asthma and allergy attacks at bay – and could even eliminate milder forms altogether.
If you suffer from allergies and/or asthma, we strongly recommend adhering to an Anti-inflammatory Diet. The good news is that in addition to treating respiratory issues, an anti-inflammatory diet benefits your well-being on multiple fronts – including heart health, weight management and it will even help to prevent cancer.
There’s no doubt that central air systems contribute to allergies, because they recirculate pollen, pet dander, mold spores and other airborne allergens. If you’re able, invest in a whole-home filtration system, which are proven to mitigate these contaminants and improve indoor air quality, schedule an appointment with your HVAC contractor to discuss your options. You can also purchase effective, portable air filters online.
If that isn’t an option for you, HVAC filters are cheap and easy to replace on your own. Experts recommend changing them at least once a month during allergy season – and all-year round if you suffer from chronic respiratory conditions.
Read the CDC’s page on Asthma & Indoor Triggers to learn more about identifying the “hidden” triggers you may not even know about – some of which you’re sleeping on, over or under!
Palouse Family Physicians wishes you a peaceful allergy and asthma season – and a Happy Asthma Awareness Month. Do what it takes to take care of your respiratory health and it will thank you with every breath.
Published on May 7, 2018