Health Tips

Allergies in the Valley: staying ahead of pollen season

Spring is a beautiful time in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. We enjoy tremendous diversity in this bioregion and that, combined with the mild winters and abundant rains of our temperate climate, can lead to high levels of pollen from trees, flowers & shrubs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), seasonal and environmental allergies effect over 50 million Americans each year. Here in Eugene, we realize that this season can be difficult for anybody with pollen sensitivities. It is an especially important time to find ways to manage allergic reactions.

What actually goes on during an allergy attack?

In an allergic response, the body has identified something it perceives as a threat. It then mounts a defense against these foreign particulates. Each person is unique in when and how the proliferation of pollens effects them, and the symptoms can vary throughout the season. Classic allergy symptoms are actually the body’s natural immune response, and for some people that immune response can go overboard.

Symptoms range from scratchy throat, excessive sneezing, itching eyes, sinus irritation, and overall fatigue. For some, allergies can be a debilitating experience, making it difficult to function at your best. In extreme cases, it can be challenging to accomplish even the most basic tasks.

How can you feel your best with seasonal allergies?

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, there are some simple at-home changes you can make to reduce exposure to unwelcome pollens in your home.

  1. Keep an eye on the daily allergen report in the Willamette Valley by visiting the website, pollen.com. Enter your location and see the top allergens active on any given day.
  2. On high pollen count days, try to limit outdoor activity.
  3. An air purifier and regular vacuuming can make a big difference in your home.
  4. After extended periods outside, a shower & change of clothes will get excess pollen away from hair & skin.
  5. Pet owners should wipe down pets’ fur when bringing them into the house.

We don’t always realize the demands placed on our health and vitality during allergy season, or just how much energy it takes to get through the day when pollen counts are especially high.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your allergies, contact us for an office visit this month to create a personal strategy for adapting to the environment around us. Treatments are available, and we are here to help you find the best approach for your body.

After all, everyone should be able to enjoy our beautiful Willamette Valley springtime!