It’s open season on allergies

Four tips to keep the sneezes at bay

Ah, springtime in Malta! The sun shines brighter, the days grow longer and the islands come alive with the sound of sneezes. Pollen, dust, simple oxygen… you name it, it will make us sneeze.  We’ve got you covered with four simple and effective ways to keep those allergies at bay.

  1. Shield your home from dust and pollen invaders

Your home should be your sanctuary, a safe haven from all those pesky allergens lurking outside. Follow these simple steps to keep your living space as allergen-free as possible:

  • Keep windows and doors closed, especially during peak pollen hours (typically early mornings and late afternoons). Air your home in the evenings, when the dust and the pollens have settled.
  • Invest in a good quality air purifier with a HEPA filter to catch and remove allergens from the air.
  • Regularly vacuum your floors, carpets, and upholstery to eliminate dust and pollen.
  • Launder your bed linens and curtains frequently to wash away any allergens that might have settled there.
  1. Embrace the Mediterranean lifestyle

The Mediterranean diet is not only yummy, but it also boasts numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation and boosting your immune system. Incorporate these local staples into your meals to keep allergies at bay:

  • Feast on seasonal fresh fish, which are high in Omega-3 fatty acids and help fight inflammation.
  • Load up on local fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, oranges, peaches, melon, pumpkin… these are rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C.
  • Opt for whole grains to help maintain a healthy gut.
  1. Be mindful of outdoor activities

While it’s tempting to spend all day outdoors enjoying the still survivable sunshine, it’s essential to be strategic about your outdoor activities to limit your exposure to allergens:

  • Check air quality before planning outdoor activities – if there’s a haze outside, forget it.
  • Schedule your outdoor adventures for times when the pollen and dust count is lower, such as late morning or early evening.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes and face.
  • After spending time outside, change your clothes and take a shower to wash away any dust or pollen that might have hitched a ride.
  1. Consult a healthcare professional

If you’ve tried these tips and still find yourself sneezing and sniffling, it might be time to consult a healthcare professional. They can help you identify your specific allergens and recommend appropriate treatments, such as:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines to alleviate sneezing, itching, and runny nose.
  • Nasal corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and swelling in your nasal passages.
  • Allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) to gradually de-sensitize you to allergens.

The Maltese springtime is tragically short and it won’t be too long before enjoying outdoor sun becomes an impossible endeavour given the high UVA/UVB rays. So don’t let your allergies ruin the season! Got any secret ant-allergy hacks? Drop us a comment to share with us.

For other Pink magazine health features check out our tips to achieve a healthy work-life balance or these tips to get your 5-a-day with a twist.

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