There are thousands of different types of particulates present in the air throughout the year that can lead to allergy symptoms. Knowing when these counts are elevated may help to prepare you for days that will create the most symptoms and may also help reduce your exposure. The weather network offers daily pollen forecast available during allergy season. Take a look at http://www.theweathernetwork.com/pollenfx/canpollen_en to see the seasonal variation for your area. The symptoms you often experience with an allergy resemble a cold. It can be difficult to tell whether the sneezing and the itchy, watery eyes are from an allergy or a sickness (cold or flu). The first step is to distinguish between these two possibilities. There are a few ways in which you can do this:
- Most vehicles made since 2005 have a HEPA filter (High efficiency particulate air filter). Typically one would push the recycle air button in the cabin to engage it. Once engaged, breathe the filtered air. If you notice that your symptoms improve drastically within 5 minutes, you can assume it is the substances in the air that is causing your symptoms. Removing these particles from your environment can help reduce your allergy symptoms (please refer to Air Filters for more information).
- Visit a lake on days when there is an onshore breeze (wind coming off the lake onto the shore with no land for one mile). The onshore breeze has no pollen or mold spores so you will naturally clear up as the allergen particles slowly dissipate from your nasal passageways. If your symptoms improve, you know you are not suffering from a cold. It also might be good to have fun by the lake or on the water and be allergy free.
- Sanctuary: Make your bedroom an allergy free sanctuary. If you are being disturbed all night by allergies, you are not going to be well rested or refreshed in the morning. Keep any clothing or items exposed to potential allergens out of the room. Keep animals out of your room, especially animals that are also outdoors. Close your window and run the fan on the furnace (fitted with an efficient air filter).
- Shower: Taking a shower before bed will remove any allergen spores embedded on the skin, nose and in the hair (you must use shampoo). This will help to keep your pillow free from substances that can trigger symptoms. If you sleep close to your loved one, they might need to shower too.
- Purchase a HEPA filter to operate in your bedroom (please refer to Air filters for more recommendations).
- Supplementation: These suggestions will be individualized according to the recommendations of your Nature Medicine Naturopathic Doctor.