Yes to the spectacular sunshine. Yes to the breathtaking flowers popping up. Yes to putting the ice scrapers away for 6 months. But a definite NO to spring allergies. Can we get an “A-men” after your next “A-choo”?
It’s estimated that between 10-20% of American adults suffer from seasonal allergies. For reasons not fully understood, the immune system gets a bit confused and starts to react to generally innocuous items.
The first key to reducing symptoms: know thy triggers.
It may be the case that pollen is to blame, but mold or even mites may also play a role in some people’s allergies.
Here are 10 tips to stave off a runny nose and sneezing during allergy season.
- Follow pollen and mold counts, which are typically included in weather reports.
- Nasal saline irrigation can help keep your nasal passages clear of irritating allergens. A staple in the Ayurvedic traditions, a neti pot is a nifty vehicle for getting the job done. Ensure you are using quality water (distilled, bottled, or previously boiled) and properly caring for the pot to prevent infection.
- Though it is tempting to let the fresh air in, consider keeping windows and doors shut both at home and in your car.
- There’s some anecdotal as well as scientific evidence that raw, local honey may help desensitize symptoms of allergies
- Consider showering in the evening to help wash away the pollen gathered on clothes, hair, and body before sleeping.
- Rethink your diet. An anti-inflammatory diet of foods rich with antioxidants and omega-3s can mitigate symptoms. Also evaluate dairy consumption and its role in mucus production.
- Pollen counts are typically highest late-morning and during the afternoon hours so you may want to stay indoors.
- Hypnotherapy has been show in studies, such as the one from Switzerland’s University Hospital Basel, to provide significant improvements in symptoms; it can work very well as adjunctive care.
- Wearing a particulate respirator mask while mowing the lawn can help abate allergy symptoms.
- Quercetin is an antioxidant that helps stop cells from releasing histamine. It can take weeks to work so it’s best to start supplementing before allergy season begins.
Other well-known options exist, including over-the-counter and prescription medications as well as allergy shots.
Pretty soon you may find you are more the giver, and less the recipient, of “bless you”, “salud” and “Gesundheit!”