For many people, spring is a welcome sight after a cold and dreary winter. For allergy sufferers though, the sight of blooming flowers, budding trees, and green grass is greeted with less of a warm-and-fuzzy welcome. The sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, coughing, congestion, sinus pressure, itchy and watery eyes, and even difficulty sleeping are all signs that it’s allergies are in full bloom.
Take one look at allergy statistics, and if you have them, you know that you are far from being alone.
Spring allergies, also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis, occur when trees start budding and flowers and other plants start pollinating. Pollen is a very fine dust-like powder released by plants to help them germinate.
Your allergies, then, is simply your body having a heightened sensitivity to a foreign substance. This heightened sensitivity causes your body’s defense (i.e. immune) system to kick into full gear and defend itself — making you miserable in the process.
So, what can you do to help get a better night’s sleep if you have spring allergies (short of locking yourself indoors for six weeks or more)?
Take more showers. When you come indoors from being outside, if at all possible, immediately take off your clothes and have a shower. This includes washing your hair as the tiny pollen particles get trapped in your hair. At the very least, take a shower before you crawl into those pollen-free covers at bedtime.
Clear your sinuses. To alleviate congestion that impacts a good night’s sleep as well as to release trapped pollen in your nasal passage, consider doing a sinus rinse. “Neti pots” flush your sinuses with water, saline, or a salt water solution which can give you relief from pollen allergy symptoms. The water flushes out the pollen in the mucus, while the salt helps to dry out your nasal passages.
Bathe your pet. If you have an outdoor pet, he is no doubt bringing in pollen in his beautiful coat. While time-consuming, if you’re especially affected by spring allergies, you may want to consider a weekly bath for your pet, if not a nightly one.
Keep windows and doors closed. This is especially important when the pollen count is high. Your local news agencies are a good source of pollen counts, or visit pollen.com to check for today’s pollen count in your area.
Purchase an air purifier. Use an air purifier in your bedroom and keep your bedroom door closed. This will at least provide you with one room — the room in which you sleep — to be essentially pollen free and a safe haven.
Treat yourself. Natural remedies are best, like these from Woman’s Day. However, if your allergies are particularly problematic, then you may need to see your doctor or an allergy specialist to see if some over-the-counter or prescription medications to ease your spring allergy sleeping discomforts.
Whether your spring allergies are mild or severe, these natural remedies can help you not to have to “learn to live with” your allergies.
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