Here are few tips to help!
To your handkerchiefs… Spring is back! As wonderful the Spring season can be as nature’s coming alive again, it also rhymes with allergies, which, for the majority of us, many discomforts and inconveniences. Moreover, according to the latest report on allergies published by the World Health Organization, nearly 50% of the world’s population is at risk of being allergic by 2050, compared to 25 to 30% today.1 This phenomenon can be explained by the disruption of our immune system, global warming, our lifestyle and pollution.1 But how can we live better with allergies? It is primarily a question of better understanding what an allergy is, what triggers it, its symptoms, our reactions to them and then have a few tips to prevent and relieve them.
What exactly is an allergy? 2
An allergy is a hypersensitivity reaction of our immune system to a substance normally considered harmless, such as animal hair, mould, a specific food or pollen such as that of trees, for example. These substances are then described as allergens that enter our body in several ways, by breathing (pollen in the air, dust mites or mould and mildew), by an injection or an insect bite or by absorption (like foods such as a crustacean, peanuts and tree nuts) or by contact (like latex gloves).
What about pollen allergies?
Present in the environment, pollens of certain plant species can cause allergic reactions, which will manifest themselves by unpleasant respiratory and ocular symptoms. These reactions occur mainly in spring, the season when plants emit pollen in order to reproduce.3 Furthermore, climate change is causing an increase in temperature and humidity, which would increase the concentration of pollen in the air.4 According to Asthma Canada and the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, one in four Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies caused by tree pollen 2: Indeed, tree pollen is one of the most common causes of allergies in Canada.
More than unsettling symptoms? 3
Allergies can make our daily lives more difficult to manage. The most common symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, tingling and itching of the throat, nose or palate, watery eyes and nasal congestion.
Ten tips to minimize pollen allergies 3
It is possible to live better with allergies on a daily basis by putting these 8 tips into practice:
- Rinse or brush your hair to remove pollen attached to the hair.
- Clean your nose with saline solutions to relieve nasal congestion.
- Avoid ventilating the house in the morning and evening to minimize the emission of pollen into the air.
- Enjoy the benefits of rain, because the water droplets will have overcome the pollen floating in the air.
- Avoid outdoor activities that involve high pollen exposure (gardening, lawn mowing, certain sports); otherwise, wear goggles and a mask, and make sure to shower and change after the activity.
- Wash clothes and sheets frequently but try to avoid drying laundry outside as pollen can settle wet laundry.
- Travel with the windows closed when you are in the car.
- Seek the advice of a healthcare professional regarding products available to relieve allergy symptoms.
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