Image is from ABC News

Mild Winters: The Agony And The Ecstasy

When the sun comes out and the snow melts away, many people are overjoyed by the decreased need for warmer clothes. It is ever so nice to enjoy a day outdoors in the middle of February! But then the sniffles come, followed by the sneezes, the coughs, and all the other things which develop as allergies manifest. It can actually become confusing, because those who have seasonal allergies begin to wonder whether they’ve contracted a cold, or are experiencing some allergic reaction.

A good way to tell is to ask yourself whether or not that feeling of “weakness” is present. When you have the common cold, or the flu, there is an achy, tingly sort of pain that makes moving difficult. When you’ve got an allergic reaction tainting your daily activities, you’re usually just stuffed up; or maybe your eyes are more easily irritated. The disconnect comes when such allergy symptoms hit in the middle of February. This year, many are experiencing confusion because allergy season has hit early, and the reason is the mild winters.

Flowering Foliage

Plants aren’t so much interested with the time of year, as they are with sunlight, warmth, and other factors that induce them to flower. More mild winters bring springtime bloom more quickly than in a conventional seasonal cycle. As a result, more plants flower more quickly, releasing more pollen into the air. Increased pollen leads to increased allergic reaction. When winters are mild, allergy season starts early; it’s as simple as that. Extensive rains in California and decreased quotients of snow in New York are afflicting both population centers with early-onset allergies, and it can be a real scourge if you are seasonally affected. But there are ways to guard yourself against such allergens.

Ways To Protect Yourself

The primary means allergies afflict us are through airborne pollen and other flora output. From ragweed to certain flowers and even trees, there are many allergens present when plants begin to flower. They’re going to flow on the breezes, and they’ll often enter your home through open windows and doors. When the weather is fine in February, oftentimes people have an instinct to open a window or use the screen door. These allow for easier access from airborne allergens. Your strategy should be to curtail such allergens.

  • Don’t Leave Doors Or Windows Open
  • Avoid Areas Of Heavy Foliage
  • Refrain From Touching Your Face
  • Take A Spoonful Of Locally Made Honey Daily

The most likely areas allergens gain entry to your home are doors and windows left open; especially if you’re in an area where there is a great deal of foliage. Avoid such areas where you can, and whether at home or outdoors, try to avoid touching your face as much as possible. This can be difficult, as we often wipe our noses, eyes, and mouth unconsciously; but our hands are very likely to come into contact with varying allergens, and so transfer them to areas more susceptible to causing allergic reaction. Lastly, honey is made by bees who collect pollen from a variety of sources locally. When you eat and digest this honey, it’s kind of like a gentle, natural form of vaccination. The difference being no viral components are involved. The only caveat here is that the honey must be sourced locally, and can’t come from a provider who has acquired it outside your area.

Early Allergies Require Concerted Preparation

The worst part about allergy season is that when it starts early, it doesn’t usually end early. If you’re susceptible, you want to prepare accordingly.