Debunking Spring Sinus Myths
It’s hard to believe that the start of spring is just around the corner.
Warmer temps, blooming flowers and greener grass are just weeks away.
But if you’re one of the many folks who experience runny noses, itchy eyes and downright misery during the season, you may be dreading spring altogether.
It’s estimated that 50 million Americans experience sinus issues in spring.
Unfortunately, the cause of that distress, and how to address it, is subject to long-held beliefs that simply aren’t true.
The result? Folks are tackling their sinus issues all wrong.
Let’s debunk these springtime myths, once and for all, so sufferers can finally get the relief they need.
Whenever you see an article about spring allergies, chances are it’s accompanied by a picture of a person outside with flowers.
So, you may be surprised to learn that most springtime seasonal distress is not caused by flowers at all. Instead, it’s tree pollen that’s the culprit for the misery.
Oak, birch and maple are the trees that cause the majority of reactions. They produce a lot of pollen which ends up wind-borne.
In contrast, the spring trees with pretty blooms, like dogwoods and cherry blossoms, and the flowering bushes (think hydrangeas and azaleas), attract insects for pollination.
That means their pollen is rarely airborne, and not the cause of your distress.
Another myth that goes along with the “flowers cause my allergies” belief is that honey can help with symptoms.
The theory behind this myth is relatively sound.
Bees pick up pollen spores as they move from flower to flower and then transfer that pollen to their honey.
By eating the honey, we’re exposing ourselves to these allergens and this helps our body build-up immunity to their effects.
Sounds all well and good. But, as we’ve just discussed, springtime misery is most often triggered by tree pollen, not flower pollen, so while honey is great for other ailments, it’s not going to help with your itchy eyes and runny nose.
Did you first develop seasonal symptoms as a child? If so, chances are some well-meaning adult told you (or your parents) that you would “outgrow” them as an adult.
Hate to say it, but this is flat out false.
Most kids who have nasal issues will continue to have symptoms into adulthood.
And, if you’re one of the lucky adults who’ve never experienced sinus concerns, don’t count your chickens just yet.
Because symptoms can develop at any time, even in your senior years.
So, don’t be surprised if your sinuses start acting up well into your 60s and beyond.
Finally, if you think you need to see pollen before feeling its effects, think again.
Trees begin their life cycle in winter, bolstered by the season’s snow and rain.
As temperatures rise and our days grow longer, these trees begin to produce pollen.
That means by February or early March, many regions already have pollen circulating in the air.
Which is why health experts recommend that if you’re prone to springtime sinus issues, you start addressing them even before symptoms start, at least a couple weeks before the official start of spring.
Spring can be a time of new hope. Of rebirth.
But if you’re part of that group of 50 million, you’re probably not looking forward to the season.
Hopefully by debunking these myths, you’ll be able to address your symptoms more effectively so you can get out and enjoy all that spring has to offer.