As seasons change, so do certain aspects of your health and overall wellbeing. Unlike winter, where we spent more time indoors and dressed warmly, spring brings longer days and warmer temperatures – and with that also comes certain health concerns.
One of the most common complaints patients have when it comes to springtime, is allergies. During spring, pollen count levels increase which can cause a number of symptoms in patients who suffer from hayfever; such as a congested or runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, red and/or watery eyes. It in order to reduce the symptoms of seasonal allergies, Dr. Ali Ghahary recommends avoiding outdoor triggers. For those with severe allergies, you may require the use of nasal prays such as Omnaris or Nasonex, over-the-counter allergy medication such as Benadryl or Reactine, and even allergy shots. If you have concerns about seasonal allergies, speak with your family physician as soon as possible. You may also benefit from seeing an allergist, as they will be able to test you for specific allergens and provide you with a treatment plan best suited to your and your needs.
Insect bites and stings are also more common during the springtime; for example, mosquito bites and bee stings. While mosquito bites can usually be treated with things like Polysporin or calamine lotion, persistent itching could cause an infection, so you should try avoiding scratching the skin to prevent that from occurring. Unfortunately, in some cases, individuals may develop a serious allergic reaction as a result of a bite or sting. Insects that tend to cause severe allergic reactions include bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and fire ants. Symptoms of an allergic reaction caused by an insect can range from mild to severe, and may include swelling, pain and redness around the sting, redness and swelling affecting an entire area of the body, hives, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and anaphylaxis – which is considered life-threatening. For a reaction as severe as this, it’s important to call 911 immediately. To prevent yourself from being bitten or stung, avoid wearing perfumes or other scents that may attract the insects, wear long sleeved pants and shirts while outdoors, and stay away from areas where the insects are known to nest.
Physical activity is another great way to get out and enjoy the fresh air, especially as the weather improves and the temperatures increase; not to mention it has many great health benefits, such as helping with weight loss, weight management, reducing cholesterol and blood pressure levels, improving the body’s ability to use insulin, improving blood flow, improving the function of the heart, and can even reduce stress and anxiety. To make sure you’re getting enough physical activity to keep your body healthy, Dr. Ali Ghahary suggests fitting in at least 30 minutes of exercise into your daily routine each day, and set realistic goals that will help keep you motivated.