Health Hacks for Battling Allergy Season

We’re never ready for it, it always seems earlier than the year before, and it’s never a good time; but springtime allergy season is a bother we can always count on.

The watery eyes, drippy nose, headache, scratchy throat and hacking cough are all signs that the trees and grasses and other plants are releasing pollen into the air. It is a critical part of keeping our landscapes lush, but why does it have to irritate us so much?

Pollen is the fine, yellow, powdery substance produced by the male part of a flower that needs to come in contact with the female part for the plant to reproduce. Many types of pollen become airborne in that process, easily entering our noses and mouths. Once there, they trigger the histamines that are our body’s response to foreign objects. The pollen itself isn’t actually dangerous to us, but our body doesn’t know that.

This is where the physicians at Harbin Clinic Ear, Nose and Throat can help.

“Because we experience all four seasons in North Georgia, we treat a lot of sinus and allergy disease at our clinic. People walk through the door coughing and sneezing and with pressure headaches, and I tell them, ‘Welcome to the Allergy Capital of the Southeast,” says Otolaryngologist Dr. Mary Margaret Beauchamp.

What you can do to curb the impact

Allergies can be worse in Georgia because our pollen season lasts longer and the warm winters prevent plants from going fully dormant or dying back at all. With these higher impact factors, it can be particularly important to take steps to reduce your contact with pollen.

The physicians at Harbin Clinic ENT Rome offer these helpful tips to help keep allergic reactions at bay.

Change out your air filters
Changing the filters in your HVAC system every one to three months can help reduce the pollen count inside your house.

Mask it
Wearing a dust or pollen mask when doing yard work helps reduce exposure to allergens.

Wash up
After spending time outdoors, wash your hands and arms to help rinse off excess dust, grass and pollen. Change and wash your clothes after being outdoors because pollen can stick to your garments. Leaving shoes outside or at the door can help, too.

Watch the clock
The worst time for pollen outdoors tends to be during the middle of the day, so it’s a good idea try to avoid being outside during that time.

Hot treatments
Wash bed sheets and pillowcases in hot water on a regular basis to reduce allergens.

Patrol your pets
If your pets spend time outdoors and in, they can carry pollen into your home. Regular baths and wiping them down with a damp cloth each time they come in can help reduce the pollen entering your home.

If non-medicinal methods are helping but not quite doing the trick, over-the-counter meds can help, but it is also helpful to visit a Harbin ENT physician to develop a treatment plan that works best for you. For more information and to make an appointment, visit Harbin Clinic Ear Nose & Throat or call 762-235-2300.