By Kenny Hackett
Pollen allergy symptoms emerge when your immune system thinks pollen particulates are harmful invaders, causing the immune system to actually begin attacking your own body. Inhaling irritants such as pollen, dust, mold spores, pet dander and other allergens provokes your immune system to release antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE). When your immune system floods your body with IgE antibodies, you start suffering classic symptoms of a pollen allergy–sneezing, congestion, itchy eyes and wheezing.
To confirm a pollen allergy, your doctor may order blood tests that measure IgE levels or a complete blood count test that determines whether elevated levels of white blood cells exist. Doctors also dissolve and drop tiny amounts of a suspected allergen into your lower eyelid to see how your immune system reacts. Dealing with high pollen counts in Atlanta to help reduce the severity of your allergy symptoms is time-consuming but doable. Of course, the fastest way to achieve temporary relief is to take over-the-counter allergy medicines called antihistamines to eliminate histamine (the chemical causing your runny nose and itchy eyes) from your bloodstream.
These tips for decreasing pollen counts in your home can provide long-term relief to make living in Atlanta during spring and summer much more comfortable for pollen allergy sufferers.
Take Control of Your Pollen Allergy in Atlanta
- Cover pillows, box springs, and mattresses with pollen-proof fabric covers that have a mean pore size of fewer than 10 microns. Plastic sheets also work well but many people find them uncomfortable and hot. However, they clean easily and can dramatically reduce allergy symptoms.
- Clean household surfaces with a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. It is natural and won’t induce allergy symptoms. If you do not like the smell of vinegar, a few drops of lemon juice will eliminate the vinegar smell.
- Place an air filter and dehumidifier in your bedroom after cleaning. Pollen and mold spores thrive in humidity.
- If you have blinds in your home, replace them with washable curtains or washable, moisture-resistant roller blinds.
- Wallpaper is notorious for attracting and harboring allergens. Consider removing wallpaper and replacing it with tile or a professional paint job.
- Vacuum fabric upholstery once a week using a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
- Wear a paper mask when going outdoors, especially on windy days and during times of high pollen counts. You can get cheap “painter’s masks” at your local hardware store.
- Vacuum and shampoo living room carpets more frequently than you shampoo bedroom carpets since the living room is often the recipient of air rushing in through an open door.
- Use a Swiffer mop to wipe down kitchen walls and ceilings once a week. Additionally, change the cloth twice while cleaning walls and ceilings. Kitchen humidity attracts allergens that cling to walls and ceilings more readily than any other room except the bathroom.
- Invest in air purifiers, whole house filters, ionizers and dehumidifiers to reduce allergen content in your home. Ionizers work to inhibit the movement of allergens by altering the air’s electrical charge.
Finally, if your home is surrounded by trees, bushes and wildflowers, consider hiring a lawn maintenance company to remove wood-bearing plants or problematic land areas and replace them with decorative stones or AstroTurf to help relieve pollen allergy symptoms.
Balloon Sinuplasty for Atlanta’s Pollen Allergy Sufferers?
Insertion of a balloon sinuplasty device is a simple procedure involving the introduction of a tiny balloon catheter into sinus passageways. Inflation of this balloon opens your swelled passageways painlessly while a gradual restructuring of the sinus area takes place. Restoration of normal sinus functioning begins almost immediately, without harming the anatomical integrity of nasal passages.
Balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive, eases the uncomfortable swelling, itching, and burning of sinus passages so that you can breathe freely again and may reduce or eliminate your need to use nasal sprays or allergy medications that cause drowsiness.
Allergies & Orthodontics
Allergies can cause long-term skeletal issues for children that continue into adulthood without orthodontic intervention. Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose at night can cause the upper jaw to form abnormally. This can cause your child to have crossbites or even worse an overbite. If caught at an early age, around 7 years old, an orthodontist can gently guide the upper jaw to grow into the correct position. Without orthodontic intervention, many of these patients would require major jaw surgery to correct these issues.
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