Coping with springtime allergies

Springtime in Happy Valley means finally wearing shorts and flip-flops to class, lounging on the HUB lawn, spending afternoons at Café 210 West — and suffering the dreadful case of allergy attacks.

So how do you get rid of these irritating sneezing fits and constantly itching eyes? Allergy medications come in all different forms such as pills, capsules, sprays and liquids that you can obtain by prescription or over the counter. If you suffer from sneezing fits and have a constant runny nose, antihistamines may help to relieve nasal congestion. Allergy eye drops, like Visine-A, help relieve the symptom of red, itchy and watery eyes. Sudafed and other decongestants help control congestion of the nasal passages so you can breathe easier. But before you chose an allergy medication, visit your doctor and get a skin test. Make sure to find out which allergens are triggering your attacks so you don’t waste your money on products that are not right for you.

If you would rather go the natural-remedy route, Rodale.com lists 10 foods that help combat spring allergies. First on the list is the green, mean, allergy-symptom-fighting machine: broccoli. The vitamin C in this veggie helps reduce inflammation and has been shown to help relieve blocked sinuses. Citrus fruits, which are also very high in vitamin C, are also capable of fighting off these symptoms. Other foods listed include kale, collard greens, parsley and flavonoid-loaded elderberries which can be found in wine, juice and jam. Apples, onions and garlic contain a substance called quercetin that acts like an antihistamine to combat itchy eyes and nasal congestion.

So go get some relief and enjoy this wonderful State College spring weather!

Photo by Ian Lopera

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