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Kick hay fever to the curb by learning your triggers to stay healthy when pollen counts are high.

As the leaves sprout and flowers bloom, millions of Americans start sneezing. Up to 50 million Americans, including millions of children, suffer from allergies. At least one in five Americans has an allergy, and more than 26.1 million have seasonal allergies. An allergy is your immune system’s response to a trigger, such as pollen. In people with allergies, the body produces antibodies against common environmental substances and foods that create the typical allergy symptoms, such as itchy eyes and skin, sneezing, nasal congestion, wheezing, and rash. The antibodies produce histamine, which causes the allergic response. Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, affects 6.1 million children and 20 million adults, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports.

While seasonal allergies can make people feel miserable, they are mostly not life-threatening. Allergies to food and insect bites are more likely to cause anaphylactic shock and death in severe cases. The number of people who have severe allergies has risen dramatically in the past 20 years.

Seasonal allergies send employee productivity spiraling, according to a study of 600 people conducted by Ohio State University. The study revealed that workers on average missed an hour of work per week during the peak allergy season; or 4 million workdays annually. Study participants cited lack of sleep and a negative impact on their overall health as the two main reasons for missing work due to seasonal allergies. Ohio State University experts recommend allergy testing and proper treatment to reduce sick days during allergy season.

Know Your Seasonal Triggers

Understanding the triggers that cause your nose to run and your eyes to water is essential for conquering pollen season. Some of the most common seasonal allergy culprits are tree, grass, and weed pollen, according to the AAFA. Avoiding the allergy is the best way to manage the problem, Mayo Clinic reports. Testing can help you learn the correct treatment for your allergy. An easy way to learn the cause of your seasonal stuffy nose is to visit Any Lab Test Now and order the Basic Allergy Panel.

You can access a simple blood test to determine what you are allergic to and prevent a severe allergic reaction or save money on only the allergy shots you need. Any Lab Test Now offers a Basic Allergy Panel that tests for 32 different environmental substances as well as foods.

  • Eight common grasses and weeds, including ragweed
  • House dust mites. Pet dander for cats and dogs
  • Seven common fruits and vegetables
  • Three dairy products including cow’s milk, soft cheese, and eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Grains including wheat and soybeans
  • Meats including tuna, beef, and chicken
  • Sugar and chocolate

When the body experiences an allergy to a substance, it produces antibodies that are specific to the allergen, called immunoglobulin E, or IgE, which Any Lab Test Now’s laboratory partners can measure to determine what’s triggering your symptoms.

Treating Your Allergy
There are a variety of treatment options for seasonal allergies. Your doctor will advise you on the best treatment, depending on your trigger. Some of the common treatments for seasonal allergies are:

  • Oral or nasal antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Prescription eye drops
  • Allergy shots
  • Sublingual allergy therapy — small amounts of the allergen are placed under the tongue to develop an antibody response over time.

Natural Ways to Combat Allergies
If your allergy panel reveals you may have some allergies, there are natural steps you can take to prevent a runny nose and itchy eyes.

Close the window. Stopping unfiltered outdoor air from entering your home can prevent pollen from coming into the house.

Take a shower. When you enter your home at the end of a long day, you are bringing in allergens, like pollen, attached to your clothes. Taking a shower and putting on clean clothes can help reduce the severity of your reaction.

Eat healthy and drink water. Consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables and hydrating can reduce allergy symptoms, according to reports.

Irrigate. Using a nasal rinse, like a Neti Pot, can remove excess mucus and may help improve symptoms.

Any Lab Test Now offers testing that can help you take control of your seasonal allergies. Visit an Any Lab Test Now near you to stop your sniffles today.

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