Spring brings warmer weather but for some people seasonal allergies as well.
One in six Canadians suffers from seasonal allergies. Allergy season can start in spring and last till late autumn depending on what people are allergic to. The symptoms of seasonal allergies are: itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat and ears, sneezing and congestion. This differs from old or flu that tends to last less than 2 weeks and can have a fever and muscle aches.
There are many ways to treat and help prevent seasonal allergies:
- Pollen counts are highest between 5-10 AM and on dry, hot and windy days. Try to limit time outside during these times.
- Keep house and car windows closed.
- Wear a hat and large sunglasses while outside to prevent pollen from getting stuck on hair and in your eyes. Hair gel makes more pollen stick to hair and if not rinsed off can end up on your pillow. Brush off your hat before coming inside and rinse glasses off after use.
- Shower and change/wash your clothes after coming in from outside to avoid spreading pollen through your home and onto your bed.
- Nasal irrigation with a sinus rinse or neti pot to clear nasal passages of pollen and other allergens when you come inside for the day.
- Line your mattress and pillows with dust mite covers as the bed contains the highest concentration of mite allergens.
These are all ways to prevent pollen from triggering an allergic reaction. Naturopathic medicine works on regulating your immune system so that it doesn’t form an allergic response to something the body normally would not react to in an allergic manner.
Diet and intestinal integrity play a huge role in allergy control, the immune system and inflammation. Food sensitivity testing can test your blood for antibodies that your body produces towards foods. This test will determine how your diet affects your immune system and thus your antibody and histamine production. If you also have the symptoms of gas and bloating than fixing your “leaky gut”, can be a factor in your allergies. There are many herbal or nutritional treatments that can be tailored for your individual allergy and health concerns.