Surviving Middle Tennessee’s Allergies
If you’ve been around the past few weeks, there is no doubt you’ve gotten to experience the happily welcomed hints of spring in the air. Unfortunately, with it inevitably comes the mass influx of middle Tennessee allergies. If you’ve felt the ramifications, you certainly aren’t alone. In fact, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, more than fifty million Americans suffer from allergies each year.
If you’ve ever lived somewhere else, you weren’t hallucinating when you thought the allergies were worse here. Middle Tennessee has been consistently ranked as one of the worst. Because of the abundance of trees, florals and its geographical location, allergies are almost unavoidable here.
According to The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergies are one of the most common chronic diseases. A chronic disease lasts a long time or occurs often. An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance as harmful and overreacts to it. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens. When someone has allergies, their immune system makes an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE). These antibodies respond to allergens. The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction.
While allergic reactions and allergy triggers can occur all year round to different substances, April is considered to be peak allergy season. With high pollen counts in the outdoor air, your allergies are bound to be full-fledged. However, it’s important to know the difference between colds, flus and allergies. Typically cold and flu symptoms last a few days to a week, while allergies are present for much longer periods of time.
While there is no direct cure for chronic allergies, there are a plethora of steps we can take to make them more manageable.
Stay away from natural air
We know, it feels great outside, and the last thing you probably want to do is miss out on that first hint of warm, spring sunshine. However, being outside only further aggravates the allergens in your body and will only make you feel worse.
Leave it at the door
Most people can’t entirely avoid the outdoors, so when you do have to venture outside, be sure to leave your shoes and any extra clothing at the door. Allergens can cling to your clothing and spread throughout your home, and the last thing you want to do is toxify that air as well.
Water is always healthy for your body, but be extra diligent about drinking it during peak allergy season. Staying hydrated will not only help your body fight off allergens internally, but it’ll also make you feel noticeably better.
Eat healthy foods
Although your allergies might leave you craving comfort food, sticking to a healthy diet is crucial. When your body has the proper nutrients, it will build up your immune system to help suppress allergens and make you feel better.
If you can feel an allergy attack coming on, do yourself a favor and go ahead and start taking medicine. The earlier you start taking it, the more helpful it will be. Figure out which over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines work best for you and take them sooner rather than later.
If all else fails, don’t hesitate to go see an allergist. Not only can they perform allergy testing to see what triggers your symptoms, but they can also help give you tips and medications that can help make your allergies a little more tolerable.