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Allergies and What to Do


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Recently, I took a trip up to New York to visit with family and friends for a holiday weekend, and when I got back to North Carolina, it was as if every tree, flower and other plant had bloomed over night (or at least over the course of a few days).

While it was pretty to look at, no sooner had I stepped out of my car to unpack my things, the sneezing began. I then looked around and noticed that every single vehicle was covered with a thick layer of yellow pollen. Later on that night, my boyfriend and I went for a short three mile run around our neighborhood to help work out the kinks from a long car ride. Well, this may have not been the best idea because even though it was night time and there weren't that many cars on the road blasting exhaust fumes in our faces, the pollen was still out and out in full force. I was only five minutes into our run when my skin started to itch like crazy. I also couldn't stop sneezing; and then finally, I made the mistake of rubbing my eye. When we arrived back at our apartment, we were covered in yellow and one of my eyes was practically swollen shut with what can only be described as a pollen-induced allergic reaction.

We both knew the drill though. As soon as we stepped foot into our apartment, we headed in opposite directions for the shower. Whenever you are outside during allergy season-especially in the spring when the pollen is particularly bad, the first thing that you should always do upon arriving home is take a quick shower. By showering, you are rinsing off all of the dander and allergens that have accumulated and clung to your skin. With regards to clothing, clothing should be stripped off and immediately deposited into a laundry bin (preferably one that is closed) or immediately into your washing machine. The danger with putting your clothing into an open hamper is that it can still send out allergens into the air. Additionally, if you were to come home and not shower right away, you would be getting outside allergens all over your furniture as well as anything else that you might own.

Whenever my allergies act up, they are so bad that I often need to resort to taking an allergy pill. In some cases, allergy symptoms can even lead a person to becoming somewhat dependent on an inhaler in order to help them breathe better. Before you exercise, always make sure that you check the weather report for that day. Meteorologists will often report on allergens in the air and name a color for the severity of the allergens that are in the air for that day. For example, a “green” color would indicate that there are hardly any allergens in the air while a “red” color would indicate that you may want to exercise indoors for the day.

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