...those words strike fear into the heart of many an allergy sufferer. When it's "that time of year" many people brace themselves for the constant Kleenex, itchy eyes, and dry cough.
What if there was a better way than grabbing the prescription or OTC and hoping your symptoms don't turn you into a zombie for the foreseeable future?
In the article below, Dr. Moleski touches on some of the causes of allergies, and offers a few easy tips to help alleviate what makes this season unbearable for those with allergies.
The Pollen is Coming, The Pollen is Coming!
Itchy and watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, tickly cough – that’s what spring pollen means for many people. But, if pollen were the true cause, everyone would suffer. Allergies are actually the result of an imbalance in the immune system that causes the body to react too strongly.
There are a variety of ways you can reduce your body’s response both internally and externally.
Things to do to cut down exposure to pollen and dust:
Exercise or work outdoors in the late afternoon. Many trees release pollen at first light, and ragweed is thickest at midday.
Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to keep pollen off your head and shoulders, and out of the sensitive mucus membranes in your eyes.
Use a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner and change your car’s air filter to prevent pollen from blowing in your face. Consider a standalone air purifier for your bedroom or house.
Change clothes and shower when you get home to keep your couch, bed, carpet from grabbing any pollen from your clothes and hair.
A Neti pot or saline rinse using sea salt and sterile distilled water can help to physically clear the nasal passages.
Keep windows closed, especially those near where you sleep.
Ways to help your body deal with exposure to pollen and dust:
Take 1 TBSP of raw, local honey daily to help your body build a tolerance to the pollen's in your area. *Not recommended for diabetic or insulin resistant individuals.
Stinging Nettles is an herb that can help control histamine production when exposed to an allergen. These capsules can be taken as needed, or as a preventative before hay fever season begins. Quercetin, turmeric, and butterbur have similar benefits. (Not all herbs and supplements are created equal – make sure you get a good quality source for these).
Everyone seems to be singing the praises of apple cider vinegar – and here’s another way it’s been shown to be beneficial. Take 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar in water several times a day. Make sure you purchase organic, raw, unfiltered, with the "mother" (a colony of beneficial bacteria). These are the qualities which give it healing benefits.
Reduce overall body inflammation (interferes with proper immune function) by avoiding: soy, dairy, gluten, and all grains.
Research suggests that 70% of your immune system is located in your gastrointestinal tract, so probiotic use is linked to reduced risk of allergies. Note: pregnant women who regularly take probiotics can reduce their baby’s risk of developing allergies!
As always, drink plenty of good, clean water and check with your doctor to rule out any contraindications with these suggestions.