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Tips for Breathing Easier this Fall

28 Sep

Last Saturday evening, my husband and I attended an outdoor wedding at the Dallas Arboretum.  The setting was gorgeous—as was the bride and her party.  During the ceremony, I found myself getting teary.  No, I wasn’t overcome with emotion.  Rather, ragweed was the culprit.

Unlike many who suffer through the pollen in spring, my allergies rear their gunky heads every fall.  I’m the one dabbing her eyes, honking into her hankie and swallowing my sneezes this time of year.  I don’t take allergy meds because they often have a reverse reaction, making me hyper.  My most useful strategies are showering at night and changing my pillow case every day so I’m not making myself worse while I sleep.

I’m not alone.  At least 40 million Americans suffer some kind of seasonal allergy.

In this case, the nose knows.

“Sinus health is the foundation for good respiratory health,” says Mike Tringale, vice president at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).  “And we are increasingly finding that relieving nasal congestion makes a huge impact on the quality of life for people of all ages.”

AAFA offers some tips for reducing sinus symptoms, whether they’re caused by allergies, a cold or the flu:

  • To reduce your chance of catching a cold, avoid touching your face or nose.  Wash your hands with hot water and soap regularly, especially after being in public places like stores, schools or offices.
  • Get a flu shot each year to try to avoid getting the flu.  However, if you feel flu-like symptoms, talk to your doctor within the first few days to get medications that will reduce the severity.
  • Manage your seasonal allergies by reading daily pollen counts and limiting your outdoor exposure on high-pollen days, and keep windows and doors closed during the morning hours before noon, when pollen tends to be most prevalent in the air.

Good luck!  Here’s hoping we all thrive this autumn outside and in!

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