When the temperatures start to rise, allergy sufferers know what comes next. All those pretty flowers in bloom are a bad omen for people with seasonal allergies. Spring marks the beginning of sneezes, itchy eyes and stuffy noses. But the season also welcomes another odd symptom: brain fog.
This fuzzy-headed feeling is a mystery to allergy sufferers. Whatever it is, they can’t seem to shake it. Thankfully, to researchers, brain fog isn’t a mystery anymore! Learn the science behind brain fog and what you can do to achieve a clear mind.
Why do spring allergies cause brain fog?
People with seasonal allergies struggle with many symptoms during spring. Among the sneezing, itching and wheezing, another commonly reported symptom is brain fog. Brain fog is the result of feeling tired, lightheaded, unable to focus or off balance. Many people wonder how allergies, an immune response to foreign substances, has anything to do with cognitive function.
There are a few possible explanations for why tree pollen makes your head feel fuzzy. The main culprit behind brain fog is inflammation. When you have seasonal allergies, the immune system wrongly identifies substances like pollen, grass and mold as a threat to your health. Inflammation is part of the immune system’s process of ridding these allergens from the body. Once your immune system is triggered, your body ramps up production of various immune cells, especially histamines and cytokines.
Histamines contribute to inflammation by dilating the blood vessels for increased circulation. Cytokines are a type of protein that fight off infection and foreign substances and cause inflammation by flooding the sinuses and airways. This shrinks your airways and leaves you feeling congested. Clogged sinuses can make it difficult to fall and stay asleep at night. As a result, you wake up feeling groggy and sleep deprived. Poor sleep quality negatively affects your performance at work by decreasing focus and short-term memory. In other words, a stuffy nose and restless nights are a recipe for brain fog!
Inflammation can lead to brain fog in other ways, too. Immune cells may cause swelling in the middle ear. This part of the ear contains what’s called the Eustachian tube, which is responsible for draining excessive fluid. Inflamed tissue narrows the Eustachian tube and prevents it from functioning properly. Too much fluid buildup in the ears can make you feel dizzy and off balance.
Natural tips to help regain your focus
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for seasonal allergies. You’re bound to experience brain fog to some extent, even while taking preventive measures. After all, you can’t stay inside until spring is over! Allergic reactions are unavoidable, but there’s still much you can do to minimize their impacts on your quality of life.
These all-natural tips can dispel brain fog and help you conquer the day ahead.
- Limit exposure to allergens: The most effective way to prevent symptoms is by avoiding allergens as much as possible. The less pollen you breathe in, the less foggy you’ll feel. Use a weather app to monitor the air quality and stay indoors when pollen levels are at their peak. Keep windows shut to prevent allergens from blowing into your home. Instead of letting in a breeze, cool down the rooms with air conditioning.
- Clean up when you get home: Pollen, grass and mold spores can follow you inside. These airborne particles track into the home by clinging to your clothes, hair and skin. They can stay with you long after being outdoors, which prolongs brain fog and other allergy symptoms. Shortly after you return home, jump in the shower and change into a clean set of clothes. You can also install HEPA air filters to get rid of any lingering allergens in the home.
- Boost cognition with supplements: When allergy season hits, your brain needs extra help to stay sharp. Combat brain fog by taking a daily supplement for cognitive function. One capsule is packed with organic botanicals designed to reduce inflammation, boost focus and improve memory.
- Prepare kids for the school day: Adults aren’t the only ones muddling through seasonal allergies! Many parents have children struggling to focus on schoolwork due to high pollen levels and poor sleep quality. Set up your kids for success by giving them an attention-boosting supplement before they head out the door. A few drops each day can help children tackle their studies with calm, focused energy.
Don’t let seasonal allergies rule your life. Some grogginess is inevitable, but it shouldn’t stop you from crushing that to-do list. A few healthy habits can dispel brain fog and help you conquer the day with confidence. You might even learn to appreciate spring for all its beauty!