Updated 25 May 2017

Fight Spring allergies

The warm days of Spring are here again and as welcome as the warmth and sunshine might be, it also signifies the start of Spring allergy season.

1. Know what you are allergic to

You may think you know what’s causing your allergy symptoms, but an allergy specialist (allergist) may be able to help identify your triggers. An allergist can perform tests to pinpoint the cause of your suffering and then find the right treatment to stop it.

2. Get over-the-counter medication

If you know you're prone to sniffles and sneezes as the weather warms up, now is the time to stock up on allergy medications, don’t forget to also look in the homeopathic and natural medicine aisles for relief. But you'll still need to see your doctor if you take prescription-only drugs to ease your allergies.

3. Wash hands frequently

Develop a healthy hand hygiene routine by frequently washing hands with soap and running water for at least 30 seconds to remove clinging pollens and keep hands germ free. Don’t touch your already sensitive eyes with dirty hands and try rinsing eyes with cool water after coming indoors to help minimize the effects of pollen. Shower and wash hair at night to prevent pollens from getting into bedding.

4. Regularly cleaning your home

Spring cleaning sounds like a lot of work, but ridding your home, car, office or playroom of bacteria, mold, dust and other grime can keep you free of spring colds and help you cope better with seasonal allergies. Plus, all that window washing and floor sweeping will burn some calories too.

pollen flowers

5. Pets and allergies can go hand in hand

A tip for dog or cat owners who are allergic to fur: bathe your pets frequently. Your pet’s saliva on the fur from cleaning itself or on your skin from slobbery kisses can also incite an allergy reaction. In addition to bathing your pet, remember to wash your hands soon after you've had direct contact with your furry friend.

 Although there is no real cure for seasonal allergies, it is possible to relieve symptoms and still enjoy the start of the warm season and all its beauty.

Remember, frequent handwashing with warm water and soap is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stay healthy. Also cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze to combat the spread of any infections.

-Issued by Lerato Mnguni, Atmosphere Communications on behalf of Lifebuoy

(Picture: group sneezing from Shutterstock)



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Dr Morris is the Principal Allergist at the Cape Town and Johannesburg Allergy Clinics with postgraduate diplomas in Allergology, Dermatology, Paediatrics and Family Medicine dealing with both adult and childhood allergies.

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