Find out what is causing your suffering! Nail down whether it is a cold or allergies and learn how to feel better!
We all know someone who always has the sniffles or is always stuffy-sounding. It is easy to assume why our noses are giving us fits at certain times of the year. Some people are actually allergic to a variety of things. A process of elimination is often required to find out exactly what might be causing the suffering. That means noticing how the body reacts after certain things are in your environment or on your plate.
Avoiding the triggers
My allergies begin with a sensitivity to ragweed and pollen, but after doing my homework it turns out there are even various FOODS which can trigger allergic reactions in my sinuses! Some foods have a ‘ragweed protein’ that causes allergic reactions like hay fever, so if you are allergic to trees or weeds / grass, some foods in those families will cause you problems thanks to a little something called “oral allergy syndrome,” also known as “pollen-food syndrome.” This syndrome can develop in a teen or adult even though there have been years of eating the food with no problem.
It seems as more birthdays pass my list gets longer: mangos, bananas, cantaloupe, watermelons, and any pepper with a name ending in “o” – all scratched from my menu. Almonds — instant sinus infection! Molasses (comes from trees!). The good news is, there are also foods which boost my immune system and help me fight allergies.
If you are allergic to pollen (hay fever) you may want to watch out for foods that will trigger your symptoms.
Study about oral allergy syndrome in detail, and watch for the warning signs. Most cases of oral allergy syndrome have only mild symptoms; in some cases the symptoms can escalate into a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.
All foods aside, learning how to keep allergy triggers out of my environment is also part of my battle. That means being super choosy about things like which lotions go on my skin. Cologne? Fuhgeddaboudit! Saturday night spent giving out hugs and handshakes to loyal listeners covered in all the latest perfumes! Danger! But beware – the allergy triggers go way beyond how your nose reacts to fragrance, and the symptoms can go way beyond having a stuffy nose!
Dust allergies — always in season!
Another viscious culprit for getting my nose in a tither: Dust. Whether it’s the kind that occurs outdoors, blowing around in the wind, or the kind that accumulates indoors on clothes and furniture, dust is another on my list of Kryptonite-like weaknesses.
Because dust is often invisible, fighting against dust-induced aliments can be tough because you might be unaware of when you’ve been attacked. Dust is a fibrous material generated by the clothes we wear, dead bug carcasses, pollen, fungus, mold and more. As a young man, one horse ride on a dusty Arizona trail led to a month-long bout with Valley Fever! The scary part is not knowing what dust has hit you, or how your body might react while trying to get rid of the irritant. Your body’s reaction might be as simple as a sneezing fit, or, choking you up with mucous secretions. If the dust you inhale is from fungus, the living fungi could grow in your lungs and lead to chronic disorders, i.e.: asthma.
The first strategy against being overcome by dust-related nasal problems is to recognize dust can cause you problems. Wear a mask when cleaning or doing laundry, or when you are outdoors in dry environments. Goggles might be a great idea for you, because dust can enter your body via the eye.
Keeping your indoors environments (home, car) as dust-free as possible is important. The deep breathing we do while sleeping could provide a nightly dose of microscopic dead bug fragments and flaked skin, which will lead to regular afflictions we can’t shake, or bodily reactions we mistakenly attribute to the seasons.
It’s the time of the season
A really long, drawn-out / intense allergy season could have your immune system ALWAYS in high gear and bogging you down with a runny nose, congestion and more. Or, you may have caught a cold virus from someone, but because it is in the spring or summer you blame it on allergies. Cold and flu viruses circulate throughout the year, so anyone could pass their cold on to you at any time. Sometimes, it is easy to recognize the exact moment when a rhinovirus has floated through the air to attack my nasal passages – which then empowers me to deploy all the tools at my disposal to shorten the duration of the cold. Some of my favorite weapons are on the blog post found HERE.
There is some research being done that suggests cold viruses can lay dormant, waiting for you to pick them up off of some surface like a grocery cart or ‘hit and hide’ in our bodies. These viruses can re-infect you months or years after the last time you shook off that bad bout of cold or flu!
Just what the doctor ordered?
Nail-down the symptoms before heading to the drugstore for some remedies that might ease your suffering. Check out the links below and get some knowledge that will help you sort out what’s ailing you. There is also some info below that might help you nail down which things in your environment might be triggering your allergic reactions.
Allergies or a Cold[INFOGRAPHIC]
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If it seems like your kid plays the “sick” card often, learn how to tell sick time from “slick” time!
Photo: “Sneeze” by James Gathany – CDC Public Health Image library ID 11162. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons