FSA Friday - 4/13/18 - The changing nature of spring allergies

If you spot me on the street during the first week of spring, you'd probably think I just finished a

crying fit. Instead, those bloodshot eyes and endless sniffles are the direct result of high pollen counts.

Fellow allergy sufferers know what I'm talking about - that first week of spring when the air feels so thick with pollen, it's like there's a green film on everything you touch. It can be a nightmare.

Over the years, I've learned a thing or two about how to handle the spring blast of allergens, and this week we're going to help you do the same. Here are some headlines with some interesting news about seasonal allergy symptoms (and a few tips to overcome them).

Allergy Season 2018: Starting Earlier, Lasting Longer, Nina Godlewski, Newsweek

Each year, we seem to think allergy season starts earlier. Well, maybe it's not just in our heads. In the article, Dr. Clifford Bassett, founder and director of Allergy and Asthma Care of New York, claimed, "We believe that spring allergy seasons are beginning earlier, lasting longer, so more time for pesky pollen to find their ways into your eyes, nose and throats."

Brace Yourselves: Spring Allergy Season Is Coming. Here's What to Expect and How to Handle It, Sarah Gray, Time

It turns out, this shift in allergies might be related to rising temperatures around the globe, greenhouse gases, and even increases in rain. In fact, according to this article, allergy season hasn't even hit its peak for most of the country.

The Truth About Adult-Onset Allergies, Stacey Colino, U.S. News and World Report

If you're anything like me, your allergies may have evolved over the years. Well, this experience isn't unique. It's possible to develop adult-onset allergies – to pollen, certain foods, cosmetic ingredients or other culprits – at any time in your life.

What's more, "the prevalence of adult-onset allergies is on the rise," says Dr. Sunit P. Jariwala, director of allergy/immunology research at Montefiore Health System and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

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So, we've presented the allergy problem. But what are people supposed to do to handle these symptoms? You already know about antihistamines and tissues, but in my opinion, the best solution for allergy season comes right from the faucet. That's right – water.

First, if you want pollen out of your home, you'll need to get it off your clothes, and your body. A shower will get rid of any allergens present on your skin and hair, while a quick spin in the laundry will eliminate pollen from your clothes.

Water is even more effective inside your body. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, a salt water rinse for Neti pot can be made at home with regular tap water and some everyday household items. And, for more severe symptoms, vaporizers are another great option to consider that you can purchase with your FSA funds!

Finally, stay hydrated. Allergic reactions are caused by a histamine release in the body that results in your most common allergy symptoms (which is why we take antihistamines). Being dehydrated sparks a rise in histamine production in the body, which could make your allergies worse. Just another reason to up your water intake each day!

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