5 Ways To Combat Fall Allergies

5 Ways To Combat Fall Allergies

Reduce those pesky allergy symptoms so you can enjoy the season change!
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Many people assume allergy season solely lies within the spring months, typically ranging from March-June. However, as the warm-humid weather shifts to crisp, cooler air, the colors of the leaves are not the only things changing. In addition to adjusting pollen levels, the amount of mold and dust play a huge role in fall allergens. Students and teachers often get the brunt of this, from entering schools that may have been a bit lax in terms of cleanliness over the summer.

So are there any ways of avoiding this, or at least decreasing the symptoms? Absolutely. Here are five proactive behaviors for combatting those pesky fall allergies.


1. Get a Dehumidifier

This transitional season allows for extra dust mites, mold and mildew, which only increases your chances of getting itchy eyes, a runny nose, and a scratchy throat. Dehumidifiers work wonders for the air quality around you, especially if you’re in a small space with a limited amount of ventilation. Whether it’s in your bedroom, bathroom, or work office, these little lifesavers will reduce the moisture in the air allowing your respiratory system to breathe easily. Trust me, you will feel the difference.

2. Carry antibacterial gel with you everywhere

Hand sanitizer is a fast, and convenient way to limit the amount of germs you intake on a daily basis. However, utilizing them the correct way is crucial for effectiveness. When applying, be sure to cover the entire hand including finger crevasses, the palm, and the wrist. If you are wearing any jewelry, I would advise to remove them first as these fashion accessories are perfect hiding places for germs. Keep a portable tube on you at all times. You’ll thank me when your boss introduces you to someone who just sneezed into his/her hands.

3. Green Tea and Ginger are your new best friends

As you’ve probably heard before, green tea is full of antioxidants, which aid in creating a strong foundation for immunity. What people don’t know, however, is that it takes approximately three or four cups in tea form, to ingest the suggested amount. Therefore, adding green tea into to your daily self-care routine is crucial for you to reap the benefits when allergy season approaches. Ginger, on the other hand, has a substantial amount of vitamin C, and its most effective part is the root. You can’t go wrong by consistently drinking green-ginger tea!

4. Be conscious of current pollen levels

As fall approaches, we get that lovely crisp, breathable air. Therefore, we often love to shut our air conditioners off and open up our windows. However, if you are an allergy sufferer, this could actually lead to more harm than good. Before cracking those windows, be sure to check the pollen levels for that week. If they are low, you’re good. If they are on the high side, it will be in your best interest to leave them shut for a while.

5. Consider monthly massage therapy

Now, I know what you’re going to say. There is no way in hell that I can afford a massage every month. But let me just say that massages are an extremely natural, and effective preventative measure that you can take against allergies. Through the heat, oil, and body stimulation, a large amount of built up toxins are being released, making your body less hospitable to germs. You may have to give up that handbag, and invest in these monthly massages during peak allergy seasons. Not only will your body feel rejuvenated, but your mental health will improve as well!

Cover Image Credit: Odyssey

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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It's National Eosinophil Awareness Week And More People Should Be Talking About It

It's time to raise awareness about eosinophil-associated diseases and support those, including myself, who are affected.

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For anyone who is unaware, May 19 to May 25 is considered National Eosinophil Awareness Week as recognized by the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (Apfed) since 2007. The purpose of this week is to raise awareness and help educate individuals on the various eosinophil-associated diseases. Despite its existence being virtually unknown to many people, this week has become very significant in my life and I think more people should be having conversations about it.

If you had asked me about eosinophil-associated diseases two years ago, I wouldn't have been able to say a single thing besides maybe defining an eosinophil the way I learned to in my AP Biology class senior year of high school. But as of a few months ago, it has officially been one year since I was diagnosed with an eosinophil-associated disease — something I never imagined would happen in my life. While I won't share too much of my own experience because it's honestly quite personal and still a little sensitive to discuss, it's safe to say that eosinophils completely changed my life.

I was fracturing bones like it was my job — I think I had upwards of nine stress fractures in my legs and feet in a year and a half time period. I had to stop playing sports my senior year of high school and couldn't run at all. I was nauseous 24/7. I was rapidly losing weight to the point where I had lost close to 35 pounds and none of my clothes fit me. I couldn't swallow anything, including water. Eating was painful. I had no appetite.

I was sick and in pain ALL the time to the point where I would get emotional or even cry.

I missed school days, tests, exams, social events, and eventually had to quit my job for an entire summer because even getting out of bed was hard for me. Ultimately, even the decision about the college that I chose to attend was partially based on my health and the doctors I would need to visit frequently.

But the most significant thing was that I was experiencing severe depression and anxiety and was honestly just straight-up scared. Think about it: I was experiencing a wide range of life-altering symptoms yet no one could figure out why and even when they did, there was no cure and only limited options for treatment. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many patients and their families. The process of diagnosing an eosinophil-associated disease can take years and require pretty much every medical test you can even think of because these diseases are all classified as rare diseases.

I was experiencing symptoms for a year and the journey to an accurate diagnosis took about a year after that. The journey itself was not easy, as it involved numerous doctors and countless medical tests to eliminate other potential diagnoses like cancers, parasites or even celiac. Since then, I have been involved with treatment for a little over a year. For me, treatment involved several medications and steps, including gaining the weight I had lost.

But the main piece was cutting pretty much everything out of my diet, meaning no gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, seafood, or nuts. Gradually over time this treatment involves reintroducing the foods individually (each for a three-month period) to see what can be tolerated or which foods make my eosinophils act abnormally and then restricting my diet accordingly.

Since starting treatment my life has been gradually changing in a positive manner, which is something I couldn't have imagined when I initially became ill. Yes, I will still be sick for the rest of my life and experience the chronic waxing and waning of this disease, but hopefully years of experience and knowledge will make me better equipped to handle it. One day there may even be a cure. But until then I will continue to raise awareness and participate in National Eosinophil Awareness Week in solidarity with the few who are also sharing in my experience living with an eosinophil-associated disease.

While I wrote this article with the intention of participating in Eosinophil Awareness Week by raising awareness and educating (to some extent), it was about more than that. I wanted to give you a synopsis of my story and the challenges I face to make this week more understandable and more real. This was because I know that eosinophil is not only challenging to say (even I struggle) but also challenging to conceptualize.

If you're interested in learning more or you're still confused, I recommend doing some quick reading on Apfed's website because they are extremely helpful in the way they simplify the complex information.

If you would like to see what you can do during National Eosinophil Awareness Week, you can also click here to visit Apfed's day-by-day guide for the week, which included some fact sheets, information about wearing magenta to support the cause, and other information about individual participation.

Editor's note: The views expressed in this article are not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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