Sneezing, itchy eyes, congestion, sore throat, sound familiar? It is definitely allergy season and for many of us it can be a miserable time.

What are Allergies?

Allergies are a sensitivity of your immune system to otherwise harmless substances that we call allergens. If you suffer from seasonal or indoor allergies, your body recognizes allergens as foreign substances and it does everything in its’ power to expel them. The most common symptoms are sneezing, itchy and water eyes, runny nose and itchy throat or nose, however, sinus pressure is also common and you can often mistake the symptoms for a cold.

Often the way to distinguish whether you have allergies is:-

  • Your symptoms appear all at once.
  • Symptoms last weeks or months.
  • You experience clear, thin, watery mucus.

Allergens can be caused be a variety of things we are exposed to on a daily basis such as animal hair, pollen, dust and mold. It is almost impossible to protect yourself totally from allergens, however there are a few actions you can take to minimize your exposure.

Indoors

  • Ensure you heating and air-conditioning units are serviced and inspected regularly.
  • Purchase hypoallergenic pillows, mattresses and furniture.

Outdoors

  • The peak pollen production time is in the early morning, so if you are able, plan outside activities for later in the day.
  • After being outside for a period of time, shower and change your clothes to help remove pollens that may have collected on clothing and hair.

If you do take allergy medication, always take the recommended dosage and ensure you have them on hand in case you are exposed to allergens that may irritate your symptoms.