It’s spring time in Colorado; the birds are chirping, the trees are budding, the people are sneezing...what?! Yup, it’s that time of year for allergies to start up again. Sneezy, Dopey, Grumpy (and itchy!) are more than just a few dwarves in the forest if you suffer from seasonal allergies. If you’ve been enjoying a nice break from watery eyes and runny noses, the nicer weather can mean more time inside for some of us. But there are other ways to find relief; read on…
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America’s report Spring Allergy Capitals 2013, Colorado Springs and Denver rate worse than average on the pollen scale. Average is considered 300 grains/cubic meter air daily. (Greeley is not officially on this list because they do not consider it a “major city”.) The good news is that Denver and Colorado Springs are below average (1.04 medications/patient) when it comes to taking allergy medicine. Does that mean that there are a bunch of un-medicated Coloradoans running around miserable with uncontrolled sneezing and a Kleenex bill that’s through the roof? Maybe…but most likely people are finding more traditional ways of dealing with their allergies.
For example, you can reduce inflammation by eating more Omega 3 Fatty Acids (fish oil, flaxseed oil, walnuts) rather than taking an anti-inflammatory pill each day. (www.healthwerks.com/news/57-top-10-ways-to -reduce-allergies)
Exercise! Believe it or not, studies show that exercise may help with many symptoms of seasonal allergies. When your body “heats up” as you break a sweat, it helps to loosen congestion in the sinuses and chest. Drinking water (even without exercise) is a must as well. But beware! If you are an outdoor fitness guru, you may want to check the pollen count before your daily jog. Since running means aspirating more than normal, you may end up snorting more pollen than you would otherwise.
Check out Your Diet! Those of us sensitive to our environment might also be sensitive to what we eat. Even if you don’t think you have a food allergy you might, and you can also develop one at any time regardless of how many times you have eaten that item in the past. People who are allergic to grass pollens may also react to foods such as tomatoes, peanuts, wheat, apple, carrot, celery, peach, melon, eggs and pork. Also those allergic to ragweed may be sensitive to foods in the Cucurbitaceae family such as cucumber and melon. (www.helthweks.com/news/57-top-10-ways-to -reduce-allergies) Sometimes eliminating these foods can help reduce the severity of environmental allergens.
Know Your Pollen Count! If you can stay inside more on the days pollen count is extremely high, you will feel better. You can find the daily pollen count in the Greeley Tribune, or on websites such as www.pollen.com. Usually the peak time for pollen exposure is around 5am to 10am.
Some other tips/tricks:
-Use a saline solution nasal rinse (“neti pot”) to rinse pollen/irritants from the nasal passageways (find @ your local drugstore).
-Keep an allergy diary so you know what remedies work for you.
-Try acupuncture (shown to relieve symptoms of hay fever especially).
-Don’t mope! If you try some of these tricks, the great outdoors may not be as big and bad as it was in the past. Enjoy some of the activities the City of Greeley Culture, Parks, and Recreation Department has to offer this spring (…and bring your neti pot!).
May 12th – Mother’s Day Skate
Greeley Ice Haus 12-1:30pm
-Visit the Ice Haus, FunPlex, or Recreation Center where you can rock climb, swim, play ball and more!
-Sign up for classes or activities. www.greeleygov.com/rec
-Cosmic Skating at the Ice Haus; great music and fun lights!
Centennial Celebration @ Centennial Village Museum
May 25-27 10am-4pm
-Swim outdoors at Centennial Pool, Discovery Bay Waterpark, or any of Greeley’s amazing splash parks!
All open starting Thursday, May 23rd
-Play a round at Boomerang Links or Highland Hills golf course. Or try your hand at miniature golf at the Family FunPlex. Open dawn to Sunset!