Exercise your right to avoid suffering this allergy season!
Traditionally, we at Wellview Health reserve Fridays for for some FITNESS FUN, but being FIT doesn’t just involve physical activity. In fact, with allergy season arriving, I cannot help but be reminded that over the years I have had to work hard to manage to remain fit and well while juggling my severe allergy and asthma symptoms this time of year. AND this year is no exception. Over the last decade, I have had to determine the right strategies to exercise so that I can remain well. So I want to share the things I have learned during my very daunting journey and what I am doing to combat my symptoms in hopes I can support your journey to a physically fit and well body this year!
Do know what you are allergic to.
After years living in one of the highest allergy cities in the nation, I began to notice patterns throughout the year when I felt the worst. For me, this is normally during the Spring when tree pollen is at its highest, especially Birch and Pine. I often feel foggy and lack focus while trying to work. I also feel low on energy, have swelling in my face and hands, congestion in my head, as well as throat restriction, runny nose, post-nasal drip, and sometimes I feel like I am spinning if it is really bad. For some of you, your symptoms may be less or more severe, and you may suffer from other triggers like foods, molds, grasses, weeds and so on. It is important to reach out to an allergy doctor to do the appropriate tests to determine what makes you suffer.
Do get on a regimen with proper medication and immunotherapy as recommended and prescribed by your Doctor.
My symptoms and suffering have been confirmed by my asthma and allergy physician, who has placed me on a regular regimen of nasal sprays, inhalers, antihistamines, asthma medication and even allergy shots. I am not exactly thrilled to have to take medication, but I can confidently say that if I didn’t, then I would not be able to be a functioning part of society all because of bad asthma and allergies. That is simply not something I am okay with!
Do avoid triggers.
Again, this can vary person to person, so be sure to know what yours are. For me, I have to do my very best to stay indoors during the spring when my triggers are in full bloom and wind is stirring up pollen. I monitor the pollen count on my allergy and asthma doctor’s webpage daily to determine if I am even willing to risk stepping out and suffering that day. I have to confess, this is not exactly fun for me because I love the outdoors, but my allergies quickly remind me that the outdoors are not exactly welcoming me with warm arms quite yet.
Do take helpful precautions to lessen suffering.
Because I am highly allergic to trees, yet I still like being outside, I do have to go the extra mile this time of year to be sure I am combating my allergies if I do decide to step outside. So that means I have to be sure to shower nightly including my hair to wash any excess pollen away. I also need to wash my face and complete a saline nasal rinse a few times a day to avoid inhaling or ingesting any excess pollen particles. Additionally, though it is tempting to crack the windows for the warm weather this time of year, I cannot do it. Otherwise, the pollen then enters and can circulate inside my home. Some believe that having HEPA filters or changing air filters more frequently for the home can also help combat allergy symptoms.
REMEMBER, always discuss your allergies and asthma symptoms with your medical doctor.
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– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC
Health Advisor | Email Casey