Ah, spring. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, the trees are a beautiful shade of green – and your nose starts itching and your eyes start watering. Before panicking, remember that some of the symptoms of spring allergies can be mistaken for Covid-19 symptoms, so you’re not necessarily sick with the pandemic. Take a deep breath (if your nose isn’t doing that annoying whistle thingy) and consult your doctor.
Those of us who have allergies know it’s a time when carrying a box of extra-soft tissues around is a must, as well as wearing an apologetic smile every time you sneeze. Allergies can get pretty uncomfortable, especially during a global pandemic when every innocent sneeze warrants suspicious and alerted glances. Hay fever, which is a common way to refer to an allergy to pollen or mold, affects up to 60 million Americans each year. The numbers are absolutely astounding.
Pollen is usually the reason behind seasonal allergies
What causes spring allergies?
Usually, seasonal allergies are the body’s reaction to the pollen in the air. Spring is the season where plants around us send their pollen around to be carried by the wind – this ensures these tiny seeds will take root somewhere. However, if somebody is allergic when this pollen comes into contact with the nose, the body’s defense mechanisms kick in as if to fight off an infection.
This is different from full-blown life-threatening allergy attacks that require using an epi-pen. These seasonal allergies are usually on a smaller scale, with the body reacting in a way that is reminiscent of the common flu virus.
Life-threatening allergy attacks more commonly happen with food allergies or bee stings and can develop very quickly. Within mere minutes, the throat and tongue can swell up in a way that completely blocks the airways.
Spring allergies are not the same. Their symptoms cause itching, eye-watering and puffy eyelids, having a runny nose, coughing and an itchy throat, and sometimes even dark circles under your eyes.
What can you do to help with your allergies?
Pollen counts are usually higher in the mornings, so staying in during those hours may help diminish the exposure to pollen. The same goes for windy days when coming into contact with pollen is more common.
Consulting your doctor is best, and this article cannot be construed as medical advice. Antihistamines help reduce allergic symptoms and can be found in orally given medicine. Another medicine that may come in useful during allergy season is anti-congestion medicine that helps dry some of the extra snot created by the body’s allergic reaction.
If you need to get rid of your allergies fast, try blowing your nose thoroughly, as pollens tend to “stick” to the nose’s mucus membranes. Another factor that needs to be taken into account is your mental health. When the body is stressed it releases “stress hormones” that have an effect on the body’s immune system. This can make your seasonal allergies worse, as the body’s reaction to the pollen becomes more severe.
What does hand hygiene have to do with seasonal allergies?
When you have allergies, you tend to touch sensitive entrees to the body, such as the eyes, nose, and mouth. Whenever you blow your nose, scratch your face, wipe away your watery eyes – you are exposing your body to the transient bacteria your hands have picked up throughout the day. Such bacteria could contaminate your mucus membranes, causing them to be inflamed. Because you touch your face more often during an allergy attack, your body has a higher risk of contracting further infection.
So what should you do?
Make sure to wash your hands at the appropriate times throughout the day, following the correct hand movements mindfully.
Soapy’s solution to handwashing
Soapy’s CleanMachine is a personal hand hygiene station that scans the hands as they are being washed to provide real-time hand hygiene analysis reports.
The CleanMachine coaches how to best wash hands and analyzes the results to teach each user how to wash hands better moving forwards. The CleanMachine also saves up to 95% of water and 60% of soap that are usually wasted with “regular” handwashes. Part of the advantages of modern smart handwashing techniques is the ability to customize the handwashing station to your needs, whether it is a longer wash cycle, more or less reagent, sink height, and more. It also eliminates the fear of contamination at the point of use, as the CleanMachine dispenses the exact amount of soap and warm water needed for a perfect wash cycle every time.
Soapy allows users to wash hands everywhere – and makes handwashing a much more pleasant experience that doesn’t have to take place in icky public bathrooms. Washing hands is vital to keep us healthy, which is why it should be easier to practice and more accessible than it is today. Soapy is suitable for office spaces, schools, hospitals, restaurants and factories looking to improve their hand hygiene practices. Previous clients can attest to a 400% improvement in hand hygiene compliance within a few weeks thanks to the CleanMachine! If you want to learn more about the CleanMachine, you can contact us here and a representative will contact you as soon as possible.
Enjoy your clean day!