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Memorial Day allergies
Yes, you are looking forward to getting outdoors for Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer. You see a picnic, barbecue, camping, hiking or biking in your future. But if you are an allergy sufferer, you need to be prepared as some places traditionally see a peak in allergies on Memorial Day weekend.
Grass pollens usually peak at the same time tree pollens are still making their presence known. This means you will experience a double allergy hit when you head outdoors.
You may already be getting this double allergy “smack down” depending on where you live. In my neck of the woods, the past month has been horrible for allergy sufferers.
The problem for many allergy sufferers is we don’t want to be stuck indoors, especially if the weather is nice. Admittedly, if we stayed indoors, our symptoms would be lessened. In fact, staying indoors with windows closed and air conditioning on can reduce indoor pollen counts by 90 percent or more.
I’d say staying indoors is not realistic for most people. That’s why doctors recommend taking over-the-counter antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays on a regular basis which means don’t wait until Memorial Day weekend. For some people, antihistamines create more side effects than benefit so consider trying a natural product with stinging nettles.
What are other strategies you can try to still enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and get outside?
•If pollen levels are high, plan your barbecue or picnic in your backyard. That way you can spend part of your time indoors if necessary.
•Plan your outdoor activities more mid-day as pollen levels tend to be lower then.
•If you are outside, be sure and change your clothes and shower once you are back inside. Pollens tend to stick to your clothes and hair.
•If you are highly allergic, consider wearing a face mask.
Oral allergy syndrome (OAS) also may strike at the same time you are enjoying a picnic or barbecue of foods that trigger new allergy symptoms, including itching of the mouth and throat. Avoiding certain foods can help minimize symptoms. During grass season, try to avoid tomatoes, potatoes, peaches, melon, oranges and celery.
Many seasonal allergy sufferers with OAS experience an itching, tingling, burning or swelling of the lips, tongue, throat or mouth after eating certain raw fruits, vegetables or tree nuts. OAS occurs in about one-third of those with allergies. Adults are affected more than children. Symptoms tend to be worse during spring and fall pollen seasons. OAS symptoms result from a cross reaction between the protein in certain raw foods and plant pollens.
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