How to avoid allergies this spring

Spring in Colorado is a wonderful time of year. The weather gets warmer, the snow begins to melt, and with it the trees and flowers begin to bloom. However with springtime comes the inevitable horror of allergy season, and there’s nothing worse than letting allergies ruin a perfect spring day. This season don’t let allergies get you down-follow our tips to keep your spring day sunny and not runny.

Pollen allergies occur when trees, flowers, and grasses begin to bloom, thus releasing pollen into the atmosphere. As you are exposed to pollen through your nose, mouth, eyes or skin—whether breathing it in through the air or simply by coming in contact with these allergens— your body’s immune system is triggered. Known as histamine, the runny noses, itchy eyes and rashes are just some of the ways your body reacts to fight the introduction of the foreign invaders into your system. Here are several ways to treat and prevent these symptoms:

Take an OTC allergy medicine. Medicines like Zyrtec and Claritin are available over-the-counter, and help prevent the body’s histamine response to allergens.

Avoid exposure to allergens. This might be common sense, but the idea is to keep the time you spend around allergens to a minimum. For instance, close doors and windows to your home. As beautiful as a spring day can be, it is also a time when pollen is released into the air by blooming plants. Generally, you will find there are 2-4 weeks per year when the pollen you are allergic to is particularly high. Wash anything that has been outside prior to using it inside. Using an air conditioner can help reduce the pollen that comes into your home. By keeping your exposure to the allergen to a minimum, you will reduce your allergy symptoms.

Keep your house clean. Keeping your house clean will also reduce the amount of allergens that have collected inside. Clean air filters often and anywhere pollen will collect—this includes vents, fans, and shelves. Vacuum, at least once a week, and consider wearing a mask when you do as vacuuming can kick up any allergens that are on your floor.

See your doctor. If your allergies are really bad, you may want to see a doctor. They can prescribe prescription medicine that is more powerful than the OTC medications, as well as possibly recommend you for allergy testing, or to receive immunotherapy. Also known as allergy shots, immunotherapy is intended to help those who suffer particularly badly from allergies by introducing small amounts of the allergen to help the body become desensitized to the allergens, preventing more severe symptoms from reoccurring.

Stay proactive. If there’s anything to take away from this article, it is the fact that you need to stay proactive in your approach to fighting allergies. Whether taking medication to treat symptoms before they occur, or keeping doors shut and your house clean—you can avoid or minimize the annoying symptoms of allergies.

Allergy season is an inevitable part of our year. By staying proactive in taking necessary medications and eliminating your exposure to allergens, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying this wonderful time of year. Do you have any special tips or tricks on how you fight allergy season? Let us know below.

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Get Organized for Spring

Today is the first official day of spring, and the warm temperatures definitely are making me think of bright flowers, green grass and sandals. Just as this is a time of growth and renewal for Mother Nature, we can apply the same principles to our own lives to feel energized and rejuvenated. Taking time to get organized has health benefits too; according to Eva Selhub, M.D., author of Your Health Destiny: How to Unlock Your Natural Ability to Overcome Illness, Feel Better, and Live Longer, “At the end of the day, being organized is about having more time for yourself, and enabling you to live a more balanced life.”

Read on for some great tips to get you and your family ready for the season.

Schedule screening and doctor appointments. Now is the perfect time to get annual checks crossed off your list before the chaos of sports, family picnics and end of the school year projects are in full swing. If you take medication, check in with your doctor to make sure your prescription is still correct. Any nagging ailment? Get that checked out now so you don’t miss out on fun summer activities.

Do some spring cleaning. I know, this one sounds awful, but take this opportunity to make a little extra room in your home. Clean out your closets—anything you haven’t worn for more than a year or anything that isn’t flattering gets tossed. Have your kids try on clothes so you can get rid of anything they’ve outgrown as well. Old coats, sporting equipment and anything else that has gotten pushed out of sight—goodbye! While you’re at it, clean out your medicine cabinet and makeup bag. Throw out anything that is expired; makeup generally only has a shelf life of one year, so anything you’ve had longer should be replaced.

Detox your home of allergens. Between grass, pollen and animals shedding, spring can wreak havoc for allergies. Take a preemptive strike against these by washing all your linens, blankets, couch covers, pillows, rugs—anything that traps dirt and dust. Sweep and mop floors, and, if you’re feeling really ambitious, get your carpets professionally cleaned. Do the same to other high-traffic places such as cars and offices. Your nose and sinuses will thank you.

Do a virtual clean out. Beyond our homes, our inboxes and phones can accumulate just as much unused stuff. Start with your inbox and delete old emails that you don’t need to any longer. For ones you do need to keep, get them organized by placing them in folders. Challenge yourself to keep your inbox to fewer than 50 messages so it’s easy to find ones when you need them. On your phone, access your apps. Anything that hasn’t been opened in the last few months can go. Clear up more memory space by downloading your pictures and then clear that folder.

Schedule weekly “me” time. Between work, family obligations and social engagements saying life can get hectic is an understatement. Often, time for yourself gets pushed to the bottom of the list. Find a weekly activity to recharge this spring. Perhaps it’s an exercise or art class, maybe it’s a weekly coffee date with a girlfriend or even just getting into bed an hour earlier to read a good novel. Find something that is relaxing and don’t let excuses pop up to skip this time. Your mental well-being will thank you.

Spring has sprung, and before the hubbub of warm weather takes over completely, set aside some time to get your life and home really organized. Take one weekend day to put these tips into action and then enjoy the positive feelings of productivity and accomplishment you’ll feel after. What are some other tips you have for getting ready for spring? Share them with us in the comments below.