Jumpstart Your Spring with these Allergy Relief Tips

04/01/2013

Spring has officially arrived and as plants and flowers begin to bloom, it’s also time to take some extra steps for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) one in five individuals suffer from seasonal allergies or asthma, causing more than four million lost workdays each year. Allergy symptoms can cause serious illness, including head congestion, sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes.

Concentra has compiled a few easy allergy prevention steps to make life easier and healthier this spring season:

  • Filter out allergens. The easiest way to reduce allergens in the home is to keep windows and doors closed, as well as placing shoes by the door (indoor or outdoor). If keeping windows closed during the summer is not an option, make sure window and door screens are clean. A clean air filter or air conditioner can also help cut down exposure to allergens.
  • Monitor the weather. Those that are particularly sensitive to pollen may want to stay indoors during peak pollen hours, 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. Pollen counts tend to peak during the morning, and are especially high on dry, windy days.
  • Know your medications. Often individuals are confused on whether to take a decongestant or antihistamine to relieve allergy season symptoms. Decongestants treat immediately, decreasing the flow of mucus. Antihistamines act as preventive, working throughout the body to block allergens and histamines.
  • Keep home clean. Dust mites and pet dander can also cause severe reactions in allergy sufferers. The easiest way to control the amount of dust mites in your home is to clean surfaces and wash bedding and clothes regularly. Vacuuming can also help reduce the amount of dust, but make sure your vacuum has a clean air filter.
  • Use the "recirculate" option when driving. It may be tempting to ride with the windows down or open your sunroof, but on high-pollen days use the recirculate option on your air conditioner. Using the vent may allow for pollen to enter the car.
"Like any season, spring presents its share of health challenges, but longer days and warmer weather provide the perfect setting to motivate individuals to get out and be active," said Kyle Anderson, Concentra’s National Health and Wellness Program Leader. "To reduce that exposure to substances that may trigger allergic symptoms, iindividuals should restrict outdoor activities to late morning or evening."

Seasonal allergies affect 35.9 million people, or roughly 12% of the population, in the United States, annually. Allergies can affect both children and adults, with symptoms including sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, and itchy watery eyes. However, if the right precautions are taken there is no reason why even the worst allergy sufferers have to miss out on outdoor activities.

Concentra provides treatment for a wide range of injuries and illnesses, including seasonal allergies, minor burns, upset stomachs, and many other conditions that are common throughout the summer season and beyond. With over 330 locations across the nation, Concentra Urgent Care is here to help patients get started on the path to better health. Concentra Urgent Care offers affordable health care services for the entire family, and is rapidly becoming the new trend in patient care.