Aaacchooo!! Spring allergies return.

Spring Allergies PhotoBy: Abbey Bowen

Sneezes, runny noses and itchy eyes. Ah, the symptoms of spring allergies!

Spring allergies are mainly triggered by pollen release from trees, grasses and weeds. Your immune system mistakes pollen as a foreign antibody and attacks the allergens. This attack releases chemicals known as histamines into the blood. Histamines cause runny noses, itchy eyes, etc.

Allergic rhinitis (allergies) affects 10 to 30 percent of adults and almost 40 percent of children. With high percentage like this, there’s a good chance you suffer from allergies of some kind.

So, what can you do to alleviate your symptoms?  Dr. Andy Nish, and allergist in Georgia, recommends changing your environment before going on medication. Nish says to limit your outdoor activity to the times in which pollen levels are the lowest. Such levels can be found by checking local weather reports.

According to Joanna Broder, of Webmd.com, it can also be helpful to keep the windows of your home and car closed at all times. She also suggests running your air conditioning to filter the air.

If simply avoiding the outdoors and fresh air doesn’t work, over-the-counter, non-sedating medications with antihistamine can help rid you of your symptoms, Dr. Paul Enright, allergy specialist, says. Look for “antihistamine” on labels when looking for eye drops, and decongestants. If your nose continues to run, however, saline nose sprays may also provide relief.

While it can help to avoid the outdoors, spring allergies should not throw off your workout routine! Like mentioned before, you can always check pollen counts before heading outside, or you can work out from the indoor comfort of the Weight Room in the Williams Center or University Fitness in the basement of Wells resident hall.

However, asthma triggered by allergies is a whole other story. Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in both the small and large airways, which are known as the branches that carry air into the lungs. Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. For some sufferers, these symptoms become worsened when exposed to allergens. Asthma can be controlled through the use of inhalers and nebulizer treatments.

It’s hard to say whether it is “safe” or not to work out when asthma symptoms flair, but for the most part it’s best to just listen to your own body.

It’s safe to say that allergies stink, but there are things you can do to combat your symptoms! Most importantly, don’t let them interfere with your normal workout routine. If I missed any information you think is of key importance, please e-mail me at BowenAK15@uww.edu.

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]

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