When allergens such as dust and pollen enter your body, your immune system attacks them the same way it would attack a cold virus. The body creates chemicals like histamine to fight off the allergens, which causes symptoms to develop. Depending on the allergy, these symptoms may include sneezing, runny nose, hives or rashes and itchy, watery eyes.
The good news is that allergens aren't contagious like colds, and there are a number of treatments and over-the-counter drugs that can help reduce the symptoms. Adopting some of the following daily habits may further ease the discomfort caused by allergies:
- Avoid exercising outdoors at dawn and dusk. These are the times pollen levels are at their highest.
- Prevent pollen from entering your home by keeping the windows closed and taking your shoes off before coming into the house.
- Wear a mask or handkerchief when doing yardwork to reduce the amount of allergens that you can potentially breathe in.
- Wash your hair before bed. This can prevent allergens from making their way to your pillow.
Talk to your primary care physician if you need help determining whether you have allergies or a cold. If you are diagnosed with seasonal allergies, he or she can also help you decide how to treat them so you can enjoy spring, rather than suffer through it. If you do not already have a primary care physician, visit www.mygbmcdoctor.com to find one today!