As the weather warms up and the sun stays out longer, you might be inclined to spend more time outside. There’s one thing, however, that can stop you: Seasonal allergies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 17.6 million adults and 6.6 million children suffer from hay fever or allergies each year. Below are a few steps you can take to minimize the sting of spring allergies.
See an Allergist
An allergist can help you identify what type of pollen triggers your allergies through a skin test. You’ll be tested with various allergens by a simple prick on the surface of your skin. Some allergists might inject the allergen into your arm. Results from these tests come within 20 minutes, and can identify what you are allergic to.
Eat Antioxidant-Rich Foods
When you feel the first signs of allergies, increase the amount of food and beverages you consume that contain antioxidants. Blueberries, pecans, and even dark chocolate are a few foods high in antioxidants. Beverage-wise, green tea can help decrease your congestion. It’s also important to drink more water than you normally would, as your body might become more easily dehydrated when you have allergies.
This might surprise you, but acupuncture can actually provide allergy relief. According to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, some patients are able to see relief almost 10 minutes after their first visit. Most acupuncturists will ask you to score stuffiness on a scale from one to 10. You might also be asked the number of times you sneeze in a day or rub your eyes. Consider using acupuncture once or twice a year to kick spring allergies to the curb!
Know When Pollen is at Its Worst
If you’re an early bird, you’re likely to be out when pollen is at its worst. According to WebMD, most plants pollinate between 5 a.m. and 9 a.m. If you exercise outdoors, consider moving your workouts to the evenings. As it stays brighter later, there’s no excuse for not getting outside after a long day at the office!