Getting outdoors and getting active this spring and summer can mean long beautiful days spent outside doing fun activities that you love. Unfortunately, in Colorado it can also mean exposure to a host of blooms, pollens, and grasses that can cause allergies. With symptoms ranging from headaches to itchy eyes, sneezing fits and more, seasonal allergies can cause great discomfort and distract from your ability to enjoy yourself.
How Allergies Work
The cause of allergic reactions to items in the environment is due to your immune system. When your body is exposed to substances like pollen or cedar, it sometimes identifies these things that are really benign as threats. This perceived threat then sends signals to your body to defend itself. The biggest defense mechanism that your body has is to produce histamine, a substance that alerts your body to fight off the invading threat.
This on rush of histamine production causes the symptoms associated with suffering from allergies: a boost in mucous production, swollen tissue in the nasal passages, sneezing fits, itchy eyes and more.
There are several ways to combat the suffering of seasonal allergies:
Typically the first line of treatment, taking an over-the-counter antihistamine can help abate symptoms as they can suppress your body’s production of histamine in reaction to substances in the environment. This method of treatment can produce unwanted side effects like sleepiness, dehydration, and loss of focus however.
- Nasal Sprays
Nasal sprays are considered effective spot treatments that release steroids directly into the nasal passages to help reduce the symptoms of eye and nose allergies but your body can build up a tolerance to long-term use of sprays thereby decreasing their effectiveness.
- Allergy Shots
A severe and involved process, allergy shots can help your body build up a tolerance to any substance through increased exposure. This process starts with a full allergy testing panel to identify your body’s unique set of needs and then moves through a series of shots that lasts several years to aid your body in essentially reprogram itself to not react to allergens.
- Massage Therapy
As a non-pharmacological approach for allergy sufferers, massage is a great way to reduce symptoms by harnessing the healing power of massage. By reducing stress levels, increasing circulation, easing muscle tension, and boosting your body’s immune and lymph functions, massage is a great way to help reduce your body’s panic reaction when exposed to common allergens.