TACKLE ALLERGIES THIS SPRING
With These 3 Strategies
Spring has officially sprung. Grass is growing, flowers are blooming, and longer days are here again. And while the arrival of spring is a cause for celebration, for outdoor enthusiasts who suffer from seasonal allergies, the season is bittersweet. For many, this time of the year is characterized by stuffy noses, burning eyes, and sneezing. But according to WebMD, even severe allergy sufferers can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about allergies by taking the following precautions.
Watch pollen counts.
out crushing that 30-mile bike ride, pollen was slowly accumulating in your hair and on your clothes. And while 30 minutes of outdoor exercise will, according to WebMD, completely coat your nasal membrane with allergens, showering and laundering your clothing will limit your exposure while indoors.
You can usually find information about local pollen levels on the internet or in your local newspaper. If pollen counts are through the roof, consider hitting the indoor gym instead of running outside. In general, pollen counts are highest on warm and breezy mornings and lowest when it is cool and rainy. Plan your outdoor pursuits accordingly.
Medicate, medicate, medicate.
There’s been a renewed focus on our health workers lately. During the outbreak of COVID-19, they’ve been on the medical front lines, inspiring us with their compassion and dedication to their calling. It’s not as though they don’t perform heroic acts every day, but it’s human nature for us to overlook one another during the normal course of events. We tend to focus on the needs right in front of us and are busy living our own lives. Zach is one such person who felt called to help others as his life’s work. While working as a registered nurse at a mental health facility, he performed home visits to help isolated patients needing medical care. During one of these calls, a 400-pound patient fell on him. He was taken to OSU’s medical center and underwent surgery for multi-level lumbar disc herniations. He went back to work, but his attendance was sporadic because of his ongoing back pain. A second surgery was followed by a third, resulting in some improvement but not much. A post-surgery infection and a bad reaction to medication didn’t help, either. He had trouble sleeping and trouble standing. Sitting was the most uncomfortable, and walking was hard, too, as his left leg would just spontaneously give out, causing him to fall. The falls led to three neck surgeries. Left with near-total loss of lower back motion, radiating pain, and difficulty even dressing himself, Zach’s rehabilitation efforts, while heroic, didn’t pan out. An industrial commission orthopedist said, “In a review of the records, I find no recommendations for anything that might be considered restorative … everything is palliative.” We helped Zach file for permanent total disability, and the Industrial Commission agreed that he can no longer work. While he misses his patients, Zach still finds joy in encouraging others. By sharing his experience, strength, and hope with friends and neighbors going through tough times and providing a listening ear and kind words, Zach is still a health worker hero. He’s one of our faves and a good egg! Depending on the severity of your allergies, medication, not prevention, will likely provide the best relief available. Every person is different, so ask your doctor about the best medicine for you, and make sure you understand how you’re supposed to use it before dismissing its efficacy. Some allergy medicines can take as long as three weeks to reach their full effectiveness.
Change immediately after spending time outdoors.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies but still love to exercise outdoors, build a habit of showering and changing immediately after coming back inside. While you were
Zach with Jennifer, or his “force of nature,” as he refers to her. Jennifer has been endlessly supportive through all of this.
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