Allergies: Get ahead of Spring and allergy-proof your life
Most people appreciate the perks that warmer weather comes with but those who suffer from weather-related allergies may not be as excited.
Woman blowing her nose. Picture: Supplied
Although Spring has not yet sprung, the weather in some parts of South Africa is noticeably warmer and locals are celebrating by dusting off their warm weather clothes. Others are fighting off early reactions to a change in the weather in the form of allergies, sinusitis and different forms of rhinitis.
Most people appreciate the fact that warmer weather comes with its perks and fun times outside, however, those who suffer from weather-related allergies may not be as excited.
“Even though allergies are experienced all year round, it is during Spring when they flare up due to the increased amount of pollen in the air,” said Mario Correia, brand manager for Karvol.
“One of the ways to help combat the symptoms associated with allergies is to be prepared. It is no good suffering when you don’t need to and giving yourself a break from these symptoms can help you go about your day more easily,” he added.
How do I allergy-proof my home?
When it comes to “allergy-proofing” your home, Correia suggests trying the following:
If possible, make sure the windows are closed during the day. Clean the dust, mould and condensation from the window frames and sills.
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Wash your bedding and pillowcases once a week in warm water. Make sure to remove all wool, feather and synthetic materials.
Keep a decongestant on hand. Using Karvol when you sleep and even during the day can help you breathe easier. The Karvol formula includes a combination of aromatic oils such as eucalyptus and menthol and when sprayed into the room or dotted onto a cloth next to your bed the vapours work to help you breathe easily.
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Keep your floors dust free with regular vacuuming and mopping. Dust and allergens can settle everywhere and can also be brought into the home with shoes and pets.
Add weather strips to your doors to stop the allergen laden air from getting into your home. Another option is to place a door mat at the entrance to your door, and again when you enter your home.
How do I allergy-proof my life for trips outside the home?
Out of the home, The Allergy Foundation South Africa (AFSA), proposes implementing the following tips to help keep you a step ahead when it comes to allergies.
Know what is causing your allergies. Instead of making the drastic decision to move to another region, rather consult with an allergist to find out what is making you symptomatic. Once the trigger is discovered it can be treated with the appropriate medication.
Be prepared for the pollen season by knowing your pollen count. The Real Pollen Count shares the pollen count for different South African cities. With this information you can be prepared for what awaits you when you leave the house, and which medication you should take.
If you are travelling, you are going to need to find out about the pollen season in the region you are travelling to. Not all areas in South Africa are affected by the same pollen, or at the same time.
As a seasonal allergy sufferer, it is important to lessen your impact to your triggers as much as possible. Keep the car and home windows closed when possible; rather opt for succulent plants inside; when the lawn is being mowed where a face mask; and dry your clothes inside during pollen season.
If you have tried everything, and nothing seems to work, you will need to see your doctor for further testing.
“Being an allergy sufferer doesn’t need to stop you from enjoying your summer outside. Being prepared and making sure you have everything you need to manage your allergies is the first step in experiencing everything summer has to offer,” concluded Correia.
Compiled by Kaunda Selisho