Make cold, flu, and allergy symptoms a thing of the past!
What’s your favorite tip or trick for fending off feeling under the weather?
As the season transitions from winter to spring, it is important to prepare ourselves (both mentally and physically) to combat the new demands of the season ahead of us.
Recognize Cold and Flu Signs Right Away
Keeping tabs on how you are feeling every day is important for overall health and well-being. Although catching a cold is very common in winter (even more so amongst children), avoiding lingering symptoms will help you and those you care for get back to feeling your best in no time!
Take a look at these common cold and flu signs to help prevent worsening conditions:
- Stuffy nose
- Body aches
Fortunately, the common cold is not normally very harmful and will disappear in 3-10 days. Note: Always consult a professional doctor right away if symptoms persist or worsen.
Signs of Seasonal Allergies
According to AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America), over 50 million Americans will experience seasonal allergies this year. Allergies are reactions to what your immune system believes to be a 'foreign substance'. This can be a reaction to something you eat, inhale, inject, or touch. Although many allergy symptoms are similar to those of common flu, they can also include:
- Itchy eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Low blood pressure
- Trouble breathing
- Sinus swelling
Among the most common allergens in America are tree, grass, and weed pollen found during season changes. Again, if you feel your symptoms are severe contact a physician immediately.
Many at-home remedies have been proven to be beneficial in relieving cold, flu, and allergy symptoms. Try adding these simple practices into your daily routine:
- Use a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter that can trap airborne irritants.
- Try acupuncture; there have been many reviews with positive results from this treatment.
- Try reducing histamine levels by taking a suggested 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily.
- Try eating foods that are high in bromelain, such as papaya and pineapple which can help reduce swelling, especially in the nose and sinus areas.
- Drink plenty of water or calming herbal teas (such as chamomile) throughout the day; try adding a touch of honey or lemon to soothe throat pain further.
- Take rest when needed, limit high energy exercises, and get a full night’s sleep.
- Eat a balanced and nutritious diet, high in citrus fruits and vegetables.
- Try using a cold-cloth on your forehead to reduce fever-like head symptoms.
Although seasonal allergies and colds may not be 100% curable, try these methods to reduce symptoms:
- Limit your exposure to outdoor allergens by staying indoors on dry, windy days and instead opt for a walk after a rainfall, which should have helped clear pollen from the air.
- Try to reduce your time spent lawn mowing, weed pulling, or gardening by switching your duty to another family member or loved one while experiencing allergy symptoms.
- Remove clothes worn outside when you get indoors, and shower right away to rinse pollen and outside allergens from your hair, and skin.
- Check out local news for pollen forecasts to determine if you should begin taking any of your trusted allergy medications before symptoms start.
- Avoid morning outdoor activity, as pollen is released during the morning hours and falls to lower levels by the nighttime.
- Wash hands often with soap (at least 20 seconds) and avoid touching your face.
- Keep household surfaces clean with a disinfectant, including toys for young children.
- Isolate from family members or roommates if you are feeling unwell to avoid the spread.
If at-home practices are not giving positive results, it may be time to see a doctor. They may prescribe medication or suggest over-the-counter remedies. Remember to always speak to a doctor right away if you have any concerns or need clarification for your individual situation.
Over-the-counter remedies can include:
- Trying an oral antihistamine which can help relieve sneezing, itching, runny nose and watery eye conditions.
- Trying an oral decongestant that may provide temporary relief from nasal stuffiness. These decongestants may also come in nasal sprays for your preference too.
- A nasal spray such as cromolyn sodium can ease symptoms especially if you begin to use the spray before symptoms commence.
- Use a saline solution to rinse your nasal passage as a quick, inexpensive, and effective way to relieve congestion in the nostrils and flush out extra mucus from your nose.
Whatever path the sunlight leads you on this spring, prepare yourself to have the best time yet. Smile bright this year, using simple and effective prevention, management, and treatment methods to help maintain your health in its optimal condition.
Enjoy the sunny days ahead!