Are You Making Your Seasonal Allergies Worse?

Seasonal Allergies in Atlanta are at Their Peek

If you have recurring or worsening allergy symptoms, the culprit may be staring right at you when you look in the mirror, according to a recent FOX News Health article. That is right, you may be the reason your allergies will not go away.

You will be surprised how seemingly harmless routine daily habits or your environment can aggravate allergy symptoms. Knowing what some of these common allergy-causing culprits are will help you minimize allergy flare-ups.

Hygiene and Clothing

Allergens like pollen cling to your skin and hair as well as your clothes, so that morning shower or bath you take every morning could actually make your allergies worse. Showers or baths before bedtime will wash away allergens that are attached to your body and may help you be less congested when you wake up in the morning. If you must take your shower in the morning, be sure to shake out your hair and wash your face before you go to bed.

The last place you want pollen to touch is your eyes. If you wear contacts, try to switch to eyeglasses when the pollen count is high. Soft contacts are permeable and tend to absorb airborne irritants such as pollen or smoke. If you must wear contacts, use disposable contacts so you can get rid of contaminants.

Dust and pollen clings to clothes made from rough or sticky fabrics such as wool. You should either shower each time you wear wool, or you should stick to wearing clothes made from cotton or non-woolen material.

Diet

Your favorite fruits and veggies could be making your allergies worse. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, many people have oral-allergy syndrome (OAS). OAS is caused by ingesting a protein found on the surface of certain raw fruits such as apples, carrots, honeydew and tomatoes, to name a few.

Your favorite alcoholic beverages may help you unwind after a rough day, but they do your allergies no favors, according to medical experts. Some people are sensitive to the sulfites in beer and red wine, which can aggravate an allergy.

Health Factors

Stress and allergies are not a healthy combination. Studies have shown that too much stress can worsen allergy symptoms. Incorporate some stress-reducing habits into your daily routine such as exercise, getting plenty of rest, meditation or just curling up on the couch and reading a book. Less stress, less flareups.

Medication can also make your allergies worse if you choose the wrong one. If you have a stuffy nose, choose a decongestant. If you have a runny nose and cannot stop sneezing, choose an antihistamine. If medication does not alleviate your symptoms, see your doctor.

Environmental Culprits

Fragrance triggers allergies in some people. As such, it may be a good idea to steer clear of perfumes, scented candles, incense and some holiday decorations. Weather is another allergy trigger. Pollen counts tends to be high in dry, sunny and windy weather, but overcast and drizzly weather can also raise pollen and mold allergen levels.

Secondhand smoke has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, primarily as a contributing factor to cancer. It can also make allergy symptoms worse.

Swimming in a chlorinated pool is a no-no if your allergies are active. According to medical experts, you do not even have to get in the water to trigger a flareup.

By Ramie A Tritt, MD, President, Atlanta ENT

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