Start early to limit effect of seasonal allergies

After a snowy winter, spring is inevitable and so are the allergens it brings with it.

At first, what seems like a sniffle, may actually be allergies because many symptoms are similar to those of the common cold. But when the trees start to show buds, they are also producing pollen. When that happens, symptoms are most likely to stem from seasonal allergies or what is typically called hay fever.

Those symptoms include itchy eyes, nose and throat, sneezing, stuffy or runny nose and teary eyes. Limiting symptoms is easier when they are caught early by making lifestyle changes to keep hay fever under control.

“If you start after the symptoms are in full swing, it’s much harder to stop the allergic reaction than to prevent it from the beginning,” said David Rosenstreich, M.D., director of the allergy and immunology division at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, people with significant allergic symptoms should keep track of daily pollen counts and limit their outdoor activities when high counts are expected. Closing home and car windows also keeps pollen out of enclosed spaces.

The AAAAI, which estimates that as many as 35 million Americans suffer from allergies, also recommends washing one’s hair after being outside on a high-pollen day. Pollen residue that stays in the hair may bother allergy sufferers at night. In addition, don’t hang sheets or clothes outside to dry because they may absorb some of the allergens.

Keeping the immune system healthy with a roster of vitamins and minerals also may limit the effect of seasonal allergies. To build immunity, the dietary supplement Super C22 from Dr. Newton’s Naturals is a good source, and contains 22 forms of vitamin C as well as potassium, calcium and magnesium.