A lot of people struggle to get their allergies under control – including Vancouver Respiratory Therapist Jenna Jangalee who sat down to share a few tips with us.
Do you find your allergies hard to control? I have allergies year-round, but they really act up in the spring when pollen is particularly high. I do my best to keep my allergies controlled, but even I occasionally struggle.
What advice do you give patients? Allergy symptoms can make us feel like we’ve “lost the battle” against allergies, but there are always steps we can take to regain control. For myself, I check the pollen report on the weather network. This tool helps me to know when to avoid strenuous activity outdoors when the spring tree pollen is high. On high pollen days I exercise indoors instead.
What’s the best advice you’ve received? To be sure make time to take preventative measures! I have a few strategies that work for me. One is washing my sheets weekly in hot water to decrease dust mite exposure. I’m also committed to my treatment regimens such as saline nasal irrigation twice a day, followed by my anti-inflammatory nasal spray. I really notice that they do make a difference.
Got any web resource tips? Yes. My favorites’ include: asthmandallergyfriendly.com which provides a certification platform for asthma and allergy friendly products including: vacuum cleaners, washing machines, air filters and more. It helps to know the products we purchase are tried, tested and true! Also 4seasonsofasthma.ca is good. It’s an interactive tool designed to help adults and children explore our home, school/work and outdoor environment to detect triggers and provides avoidance tips.
Are there improvements at the community service level you feel would help? I personally think it would be helpful if there were more community-based Respiratory Educators and Therapists accessible by the public. I work as an asthma educator in a hospital-based lung clinic and only see people after they’ve consulted their lung or allergy doctor and been assigned to see me. Many times I feel had they seen me in advance for some simple and safe advice they would already be feeling quite a bit better. I’m hopeful, in time, you will find more of us working in community clinics to help provide much needed advice.