Spring has officially arrived in Arizona, and along with the gorgeous weather and blooming palo verde trees, comes dreaded seasonal allergies. Pollen and dust fill the air which can trigger sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes and throat irritation. This is your body’s immune system responding to a foreign substance, and it happens to many of us this time of year.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, allergic rhinitis (often called hay fever) is common and affects more than 26 million adults and children in the U.S. If you’re one of the unlucky ones who struggle with seasonal allergies, below are four steps you can take to help you survive allergy season.
Find out if it’s allergies. First, in order to properly treat your symptoms, you need to determine what you’re dealing with: is it allergies, a cold, the flu or a sinus infection? The symptoms can be very similar, but if you’re running fever, it’s probably a cold, the flu or a sinus infection (which can actually be caused by allergies). If you’re experiencing body aches and chills, it’s probably a cold or the flu, whereas if your pain is concentrated in your face it could be a sinus infection. Another sign is the color of your mucus—if it is yellow or green, you might have the flu or a sinus infection, but if it is clear it’s likely just allergies. If you’re still unsure, make an appointment with your doctor to get a professional diagnosis.
Get natural congestion relief with enzymes. Most people rely on non-drowsy antihistamines to help manage their allergies. These work well for reducing histamines (the chemicals that cause allergy symptoms), but do not contain a decongestant and may only provide minimal relief. Serrapeptase, a proteolytic (protein digesting) enzyme, is a very potent natural decongestant and has a strong anti-inflammatory effect on the sinuses. Serrapeptase has been shown in clinical trials to support normal mucus thickness and healthy mucus clearance, helping allergy sufferers dealing with a stuffy or runny nose without any reported side effects.
Keep your home clean. Tis the season for spring cleaning! Now is a good time to deep clean all the nooks and crannies that have been collecting dust over the past year. Once your home is thoroughly sanitized, maintain it with regular cleaning, vacuuming and dusting to ensure your home is free of dirt and allergens. Make sure to routinely change out your air filters too—the higher the MERV rating of the air filter the better it is at removing ultra-fine particles and keeping your air clean.
Avoid exposure to allergens. When the weather is pleasant, it can be tempting to open your windows to let in a breeze, but during peak allergy season it may be better to keep your windows shut and use air conditioning instead. Fresh air is nice, but not when it’s allowing new allergens into your house! For the best of both worlds, look into an energy recovery ventilator or ERV, for allergies. These systems pair nicely with your home’s HVAC system to mechanically bring in fresh air from the outside, filter out contaminants, and force stale air outside. In the car, use the air recirculation button when air quality is poor.
Seasonal allergies can be a pain for those who are affected but following the recommendations above can help you manage your symptoms and enjoy this time of year a bit more. If your symptoms persist and you can’t seem to find relief, visit a healthcare provider.
Justin Marsh is the CEO of Arthur Andrew Medical, a Scottsdale-based manufacturer of enzyme and probiotic based dietary supplements. Arthur Andrew Medical’s products are rooted in science with no processing agents or fillers. They are dedicated to conducting extensive research and clinical applications with dietary supplements for the advancement of natural health alternatives.