Managing your allergies on a day-to-day basis may, however, be easier and offer a more immediate solution than trying to solve climate change. And it's important to keep them from getting out of control. Past research has linked allergies to problems as diverse as poor sleep, clinical depression, and even low sex drive. "There's no question about it," Dr. Fineman says. "People with allergies feel run-down, have difficulty concentrating, and don't have as much energy as they normally do. When you feel that way, it affects your whole mood."
Here are five tips for coping with your spring allergies:
Know the Triggers
Just because you sneeze during spring doesn't necessarily mean you're allergic to May flowers, or even pollen for that matter. You could be allergic to mold or fungus, both of which are exacerbated by April showers. Grass and trees are other common spring allergy triggers, and knowing your enemy will help you learn what to avoid. Dr. Fineman recommends visiting an allergist and getting a skin prick test, which is the most accurate way to diagnose an allergy.
Then, Avoid Them
Keeping your windows shut and staying indoors on dry and windy days, when pollen is more likely to get blown around, will help if you're allergic to pollen. But staying inside on rainy or excessively humid days could help, too, if mold is what triggers your allergies. Though rain washes pollen away, "fungus and mold spores love the humidity," Dr. Fineman says. "That's why it's important to find out what's triggering your allergy."
Get Help from a Goat
Goats can mow your grass for you, saving you the hassle of dealing with allergenic grass clippings. Neti pots, those strange-looking teapot-type things you see in natural health stores, have been scientifically shown to reduce allergy symptoms. Not convinced? Try one of these other natural allergy remedies.
Evict Chemicals from Your Kitchen
Certain household chemicals can aggravate or even cause both indoor and outdoor allergies. The primary culprit is triclosan, the active ingredient in antibacterial soaps. Scientists from the University of Michigan recently found that people who commonly used products containing the ingredient were more likely to suffer from allergies or hay fever.
Watch What You Eat
People who are allergic to pollen can also have oral allergy syndrome, which affects about a third of seasonal allergy sufferers. Your immune system sees a similarity between the proteins of pollen and those in some foods, such as apples, cherries, pears, apricots, kiwis, plums, or nuts. Avoid these when your allergy symptoms are at their worst, and opt instead for leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, and kale, for instance) and citrus fruits, all of which are full of allergy-fighting folic acid.
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