Summer Allergy Prevention

With each change of the season, it brings with it changes to our outdoor and indoor environment.  And, simply put, this means that any season can be ‘allergy season’ depending on each persons environmental changes, as well as each person’s unique sensitivities.  If you find yourself suffering from allergies more so in the warm summer months, below, are some common causes of summer allergies, as well as tips to help you prevent and minimize their severity.

Wash Your Hair Before Bed – Just like a television screen, hair has an electrical charge that attracts and holds tiny pollen and dust particles throughout the day.  This is especially so during the summer, when we’re outdoors more.  Climbing into bed without showering and washing your hair first, rubs all those allergy-triggering particles onto your pillow and bed sheets, which then in turn make their way into your nose and eyes.  To prevent nighttime allergen transfer, simply shower and wash your hair before bed each night.  Also, choose natural fabric linens such as cotton or linen, instead of synthetic fabrics, since natural fibers attract half the pollen that static-prone synthetics do.

Avoid Being Outdoors Between These Hours – During the summer months, heat-induced ozone and grass pollen levels peak between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, which make for prime conditions to trigger allergy symptoms.  Even more so, when it is also windy and dusty, or after a brief storm.  To avoid this environmental allergy trigger, try to stay indoors during these hours, and enjoy the outdoors earlier in the morning, and after 2 pm.

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Avoid These Possible Picnic Fare Allergy Triggers – Scientists have discovered a connection between certain foods and allergy flare-ups.  Allergy flare-ups in pollen-sensitive people triggered by eating certain foods, is known as cross-reactivity.  For example, if you have an allergy to grass pollen, there is a likelihood that you may also be sensitive to the proteins found in common picnic food fare such as potatoes and celery, which can lead to the same type of allergy symptoms as the grass pollen would.  For other allergy sufferers, who are sensitive to ragweed, eating other popular summer favorites such as watermelon, cantaloupe and bananas could also make your allergy symptoms worse.

If you notice that you seem to have heightened allergy reactions and symptoms after eating certain foods, stop eating them for at least the next 2 weeks to clear them fully from your system.  After 2 weeks, eat a small amount of what you believe the allergy-triggering food might have been, and if your allergy symptoms once again become heightened, avoid eating this food during the summer season.

Drink Less Alcohol – While moderate amounts of alcohol may provide some health benefits, for those who suffer from allergies, alcohol may lead to more frequent and more severe allergy episodes.  The reason why alcohol can lead to allergy symptoms is because liquor and beer are made from grains, and a good portion of the population has varying degrees of sensitivity to grains, such as wheat, barley and rye.  If your allergy symptoms seem to appear whenever you are enjoying a mixed drink cocktail or beer, you might want to try sipping wine in place of that mixed drink, or switch to a non-alcoholic beverage such as iced-tea or mineral water instead.

Bon Veggie Appetit!

Gina ‘The Veggie Goddess’ Matthews

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