Learn how to prepare for allergy season in Las Vegas with these tips!
Spring is almost here, and with its arrival comes allergy season for millions of Americans.
Seasonal allergies (also referred to as hay fever or allergic rhinitis) can leave you feeling miserable. Typical seasonal allergy symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, itchy throat, and watery eyes. Seasonal allergies can affect your work quality, energy level, and school performance.
An allergy occurs when your immune system responds to a foreign substance, called an allergen. This response could be from something you eat or drink, breathe into your lungs, inject into your body, or touch.
Seasonal allergies often run in families, so if your parents or siblings struggle with sneezing throughout the spring, you might want to keep an eye out for yourself and your children.
Most people with allergies experience more than just one allergy trigger. Polysensitization (sensitivity to more than one allergen) is common in people with allergic rhinitis.
The most common non-food allergy triggers are:
Grass and weed pollen
The most common food allergies include:
Some people might have more severe allergies than others.
One 2016 study of 683 adults with allergies notes that the overall loss of productivity for allergy sufferers was 21% for employed and student participants alike. This research also notes that when allergy sufferers stayed at work, 36% of participants were less effective at their jobs.
Depending on the severity of symptoms, many people with seasonal allergies must stay indoors and limit their activities to avoid environmental triggers and reduce symptoms. In severe cases, allergies can cause low blood pressure, difficulty breathing, and even death.
Unfortunately, Las Vegas experiences one of the highest spring pollen counts in the nation.
Our dry, desert air means that allergy symptoms are compounded, making you feel even worse. As a result, many people complain of feeling they've come down with a mild cold for months on end.
In 2013, the Clark County School District and University of Nevada Las Vegas created the Pollen Monitoring Program to provide local pollen and mold spore counts across the city. Consistent monitoring and reporting of airborne pollen help individuals with moderate to severe seasonal allergies prepare for or avoid exposure.
The Weather Channel's website also provides a forecast of allergy levels for fifteen days. Knowing what the next two weeks will look like can be especially helpful for planning outdoor excursions like camping or road trips. The Weather Channel also provides a "Pollen Breakdown" covering specific allergens like tree versus grass versus ragweed pollen.
Multiple studies suggest that Vitamin C may act as a natural antihistamine by reducing the amount of histamine your body produces in response to an allergen.
One 2018 study suggests that high doses of vitamin C can reduce allergy symptoms. The research further notes that a vitamin C deficiency may increase allergy-related issues. This may be because Vitamin C is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Quercetin is widely considered an effective natural antihistamine, known for its antioxidant activity and anti-allergic properties. Quercetin is found in apples, berries, grapes, onions, tea, and tomatoes.
One 2016 study notes that quercetin has anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. This flavonoid has also been shown to improve mental and physical performance while reducing infection risk.
While people with moderate to severe seasonal allergies are typically told to stay indoors, recent studies suggest that "the sunshine vitamin" might play an important role in allergy development.
Vitamin D plays a crucial role in lung development and your immune system. This fat-soluble vitamin also affects the development, severity, and course of allergic diseases like asthma, eczema, food allergies, and more.
One survey study of 4,495 Americans suggests that as many as 41.6% of people in the US are vitamin D deficient. Aside from sunlight, you can also get Vitamin D from salmon, eggs, milk, and fortified cereal.
Yes, acupuncture can be used as an effective adjunct therapy to help relieve allergy symptoms!
Here are a few other things you can do to prepare for allergies:
Check pollen and mold counts before going outside
Keep the windows and doors of your car and home shut to keep pollen out
Know which time is safest to be outside. (In the spring and summer, pollen levels are highest in the evening.)
Take a shower, wash your hair, and change your clothes as soon as you come in from working or playing outdoors.
Wear an N-95 mask when mowing your lawn or doing chores outside.
Brush your pets before bringing them inside to prevent allergens from coming into your home with them.
Use a neti pot with saline once or twice a day, especially after returning home from outside.
If your symptoms persist, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
While there is no cure-all for allergies, you can manage your symptoms with help from a medical provider.
Ready to get started? Schedule your appointment here.