Anticipate spring and protect your life against allergies

Although spring has not yet arrived, the weather in parts of South Africa is noticeably warmer and locals are celebrating by dusting off their warm clothes. Others struggle with early reactions to a changing climate in the form of allergies, sinusitis and different forms of rhinitis.

Most people appreciate that warmer weather comes with benefits and fun times outdoors, however, those with weather-related allergies may not be so excited.

“Even though allergies occur all year round, it is in the spring that they flare up due to the increased amount of pollen in the air,” said Karvol Brand Manager Mario Correia.

“One of the ways to help fight the symptoms associated with allergies is to be prepared. There’s no point in suffering when you don’t need to and giving yourself a break from these symptoms can help you get through your day more easily,” he added.

How can I protect my home against allergies?

When it comes to your home’s “allergy resistance,” Correia suggests trying the following:

If possible, make sure the windows are closed during the day. Clean dust, mildew and condensation from window frames and sills.

Wash your bedding and pillowcases once a week in lukewarm water. Be sure to remove all wool, feathers and synthetics.

Keep a decongestant handy. Using Karvol while you sleep and even during the day can help you breathe better. The Karvol formula includes a combination of aromatic oils such as eucalyptus and menthol and when sprayed in the room or sprinkled on a cloth next to your bed, the vapors work to help you breathe easily.

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Protect your floors from dust by vacuuming and mopping regularly. Dust and allergens can settle everywhere and can also be brought into the house with shoes and pets.

Add weatherstripping to your doors to prevent allergen-laden air from entering your home. Another option is to place a doormat at the entrance to your door, and again when you enter your home.

How can I protect my life against allergies for travel outside the home?

Outside the house, The Allergy Foundation South Africa (AFSA), offers to implement the following tips to help you stay one step ahead of allergies.

Know what causes your allergies. Instead of making the drastic decision to move to another area, see an allergist instead to find out what makes you symptomatic. Once the trigger is discovered, it can be treated with the appropriate medication.

Be prepared for pollen season by knowing your pollen count. The real pollen count shares the pollen count for different South African cities. With this information, you can prepare for what to expect when you leave home and what medications you need to take.

If you are traveling, you will need to find out about the pollen season in the area you are traveling to. Not all regions of South Africa are affected by the same pollen, or at the same time.

As someone with seasonal allergies, it’s important to reduce your impact on your triggers as much as possible. Keep car and house windows closed when possible; opt for succulents indoors instead; when the lawn is mowed or a face mask; and dry your clothes indoors during pollen season.

If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work, you’ll need to see your doctor for further testing.

“Being allergic shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your summer outdoors. Being prepared and making sure you have everything you need to manage your allergies is the first step to experiencing all that summer has to offer,” Correia concluded.

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Compiled by Kaunda Selisho