Allergy Trigger #5: The great outdoors
No one with seasonal allergies spends much time outside when allergy season is, well, in full bloom. After all, who wants to come nose-to-nose with the onslaught of allergens floating through the air? While myriad types of pollen are the obvious offenders, other irritants like pollution and diesel fumes can also trip you up. “Pollutants act as a chronic irritant to mucous membranes in the nasal passages, and the body has to work hard to eliminate them,” says Steelsmith.
To deal with these outdoor irritants, reach for your nasal rinse. And while you can’t really stay indoors all the time, you can get a little savvier about when to venture out. Most plants pollinate in the morning, which is why pollen counts are higher during the first part of the day. So save outdoor activities like gardening, running errands, or exercising for later in the afternoon. Another ideal time to get outdoors is right after a storm. Rain, after all, washes the air and can drop high pollen counts to almost zero.
But you can’t expect it to rain every day, not even in Portland or Seattle, so the only sure way to get your seasonal allergies under control is to tend to your immune system. Strengthen it with good nutrition and plenty of sleep, but most of all give it a rest. If it’s not always in a frenzy, there’s a good chance it won’t care about a nose full of pollen or mold spores.
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