What Is A High Pollen Count
The term “allergy” was first coined by two Greek physicians; Hippocrates and Pedanius Dioscorides. According to them, allergy means an overproduction of mucus which causes swelling and irritation on the surface of the nose. The word “allergies” comes from the Greek words allos meaning “other,” and hris meaning “to cause.” Allergic reactions are caused by substances that can produce an allergic response.
Allergies result when your body interprets a substance (such as pollen) as harmful and responds to it with inflammation, sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose. It may also include other symptoms such as congestion, respiratory tract infection, asthma attacks, rashes, headaches, etc. When you have allergies, allergens enter through your nostrils and irritate sensitive tissues inside your nasal cavity and/or sinuses. They then travel to your throat where they activate mast cells and basophils. These cells release chemical mediators that trigger inflammation and lead to the development of allergies.
Although there is no cure for allergies yet, some people can take certain precautions to help prevent their occurrence. One way to do this is to keep your home free of allergens since these can be the main sources of indoor allergies. Here are some tips on how to maintain a clean and healthy environment:
– Keep the carpet and drapes clean. Carpets harbor dust mites that thrive on dead skin and hair fibers. Therefore, vacuum at least twice a week to remove debris and mites. Also make sure to change your bed sheets once every three months to reduce the number of airborne pet dander. If you live near forests or grasslands, wear shoes outside so as not to track dirt and mud into your house.
– Use natural cleaning products. Certain chemicals found in commercial cleaning products can aggravate your condition. Instead, use only mild detergents made from plant extracts. You can also try using essential oils instead of perfumes or aerosol sprays. Other alternatives are baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice or salt spray.
– Eliminate cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoking contains more than 4,000 known toxins including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, formaldehyde, benzene, acetone, hydrogen cyanide, ammonia, arsenic and cadmium. Smoking can increase your risk of developing chronic conditions like lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, kidney diseases, erectile dysfunction, impotence, premature aging, depression, anxiety, nervousness, fatigue, insomnia, memory loss, dry cough, wheezing, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, etc.
– Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight. Exposure to UV rays from the sun can destroy vitamin D3 and cause photoaging. To protect yourself from the sun’s harmful effects, avoid direct sunlight between 10 AM and 3 PM. Wear sunglasses and sunscreen lotion to shield your skin from UVA and UVB radiation. Also consider wearing protective clothing such as long sleeves, hats, and wide-brimmed sunscreens.
– Clean up mold and bacteria. Mold spores are microscopic organisms capable of growing under any environmental condition. Molds produce mycotoxins that damage the lungs, digestive system, kidneys, liver, brain, nerves, blood vessels, eyes, ears, and skin. Bacteria such as Legionella pneumophila infects the lungs causing pneumonia. Both types of microorganisms can be transmitted via contaminated drinking water, food, and air conditioning ducts.
– Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, etc. Alcoholic drinks contain ethanol that dehydrates your body and makes you vulnerable to infections. Caffeine and nicotine stimulate adrenaline production in your bloodstream making you feel anxious. Nicotine can also constrict arteries leading to cardiovascular problems. Therefore, limit your alcoholic beverages to 2 glasses daily while avoiding cigarettes altogether.
– Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can impair judgment and cause accidents. It can also worsen pre-existing medical conditions such as colds, flu, bronchitis, asthma attack, migraine headache, arthritis, backache, menstrual cramps, indigestion, flatulence, gas, etc.
– Exercise regularly. Regular exercise helps manage stress levels and prevents weight gain due to sedentary lifestyle. It also increases oxygen circulation in the blood stream and improves sleep quality. However, avoid overexertion during physical activities especially if you suffer from allergies. Exercising outdoors provides fresh air and less chance of getting infected by germs.
– Eat healthy foods. Eating nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat, fish, eggs, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, milk and yogurt, etc., promote good health. On the contrary, unhealthy diets consist mainly of fried, spicy, salty, sugary, processed, refined, canned, frozen, microwaveable, fast, junk foods. Such foods provide little nutrients and can even harm your health.
If you are suffering from allergies, consult with your doctor about taking antihistamines. There are many brands available such as Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra, Alavert, Dayquil, Clarifed, NyQuil, Sudafed, etc. Your physician will advise you what medication would be suitable for your case. In addition to medications, there are several alternative treatments being researched nowadays. Some of them include acupuncture, dietary supplements, herbal remedies, meditation, biofeedback therapy, hypnosis, therapeutic massage, chiropractic treatment, etc.
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