Short of living in a bubble, there are no cures for allergies.
Even with shots and medicines, patients living with allergies still experience flare-ups and symptoms, especially if their allergies are seasonal.
Dr. Clifford Bassett, an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Long Island College Hospital, offered these seven tips, which may alleviate the severity of allergy symptoms, making it a little easier for allergy sufferers to enjoy life.
1. Know the Pollen Count
You can check the pollen count at The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology www.aaaai.org.
“Consider exercising indoors on very high pollen days if you are sensitive to seasonal pollens present in the air,” Bassett said.“Or, perhaps exercise later in the day since certain pollens are higher in the early- to mid-morning.
Bassett said to also be aware of the fact that higher levels of pollen are usually found on warm, dry and/or windy days, whereas lower levels of pollen are present on wet, cloudy days.
2. Take a Seaside Vacation
Time your vacation during the peak allergy season, Bassett said, and go to the beach – pollen counts are likelier to be lower in areas near water.
3. Eat Healthy
Research shows that foods high in antioxidants and omega 3s, which are found in fish particularly, help individuals with asthma, Bassett said.
4. Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Take a shower and wash your hair every night before going to bed, Bassett suggested.
Remember to change your pillowcases and wash your pajamas often, as these are places where pollens and molds can build up.
You may not be able to see them, but you will breathe them in as you are sleeping.
5. Keep Eyes Clear
“Gently irrigate your eyelids while your eyes are closed with a mild, tear-free baby shampoo to remove excess allergens and pollutants that may have accumulated,” Bassett said.
If you wear contact lenses, or have specific eye allergies, check with your health care provider to learn what kind of eye cleanser is best for you.
6. Breathe 'Fresh' Air
Whether driving or at home, keep your windows closed and set the air conditioner to re-circulate to keep out pollen, Bassett said. Clean the filters on the air conditioner frequently, especially during pollen season.
If you or someone in your family has extremely bad allergies or asthma, consider a central air-filtration system for your home.
7. Avoid Cross-Reactions
Eating certain foods (pears, apples and hazelnuts) may cause allergic reactions if you have seasonal tree allergies, Bassett said. This is due to a cross-reaction between the proteins in the fruits and the pollens.
Foods such as melons, tomatoes and oranges may cross-react with grass pollens, and melons, chamomile tea and bananas can cross-react with weed pollens.
Symptoms of cross-reactions in allergy sufferers include a tingly mouth or itchy throat.