The sun is coming up earlier and setting later. Birds are chirping at the break of dawn, the grass is getting greener, the breeze warmer…all sure signs that Spring has finally sprung.
But it does also mean the dreaded allergy season.
Seasonal allergies can be rough!
The most common spring allergy culprit is pollen (hay fever). Trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny grains into the air to fertilize other plants- but it also means these little grains can get into our nose and trigger someone who has allergies. Once they are breathed in- they tend to wreak havoc on us. Our immune system can actually mistakenly see them as a danger to us and release antibodies that attack the allergens and release a chemical called histamine into the nose, eyes, and lungs. Histamine is intended to attack harmful agents and remove them from the body.
This can come with:
- Sneezing and coughing
- Runny or blocked nose
- Itchy, red or watery eyes
- Itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
- Potential loss of smell
- Pain around your temples and forehead
- Headache and earache
Hayfever allergy affects between 10 and 30 percent of all adults in the U.S. and as many as 40 percent of children. There are estimates that over 60 million people in the U.S. have symptoms of hayfever allergy.
So as much as we love when Spring finally begins- it can take its toll on you if you suffer from allergies.
There are plenty of allergy relief options out there, but some always like to go with a more natural route.
And thankfully there are some effective and natural ways to tackle those allergies head on and gain relief!
First and foremost- you can do what you can to reduce your exposure to allergens.
While this may not always be easy when you have Spring chores to do or other tasks that involve you being around allergens- little tips can help minimize your exposure.
- If you can- stay inside on the dry and windy days. The best time for someone with allergies to go outside is just after a good rain as it helps to clear the air from pollen- reducing our sensitivity.
- If you have a household bigger than just yourself- see if you can have someone else do the lawn mowing, weed pulling or any other gardening tasks that may stir up allergens that will bother you.
- Once you’re back inside from being outdoors, remove the clothing you were wearing outside and shower or bath to rinse any pollen that may have stuck around on your skin or hair.
- Try not to hang laundry outside- although it is a great way to save on hydro and water- it can actually allow pollen to stick to the articles of clothing and bedding
- Avoid opening your windows on high pollen days- try sticking with use of your AC if it is warm. Also ensure you are cleaning your filters weekly.
Now many of these are easier said than done- but doing what you can to limit your exposure can go a long way for your allergy symptoms.
Of course there is inevitability in your allergy symptoms no matter what you do..so for those cases- try some of the following tips to help treat your symptoms:
Sip on Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar has been around as a natural remedy for centuries. It has been known to help eliminate runny noses and break up mucus. Mixing 1-2 teaspoons in some water tea is a great way to get some nasal support! As a little bonus- apple cider vinegar is also known to assist with weight loss and digestive support!
Clean Your Nose
Using a saline spray can be an effective way of opening up your nasal passages- allowing you to breathe more freely when having allergy symptoms. Studies have shown that things such as a Neti pot- can be very beneficial for sufferers of Hayfever
If you feel symptoms coming on- have a Hot Shower
We touched on this for limiting exposure- but it can also be used to help treat symptoms. The American Academy of Allergies Asthma and Immunology states that this will help clear your nostrils and nasal passages from any pollen- but will also help steam your sinuses allowing more better breathing and open your airways up a bit more.
Chow Down On Some Spicy Food
Spicy food isn’t for everyone- but spicy foods or foods high in onion and garlic can help to thin out mucus within your system. So even though the weather is warmer- a hot bowl of chili with some spices may do your body good!
Try To Incorporate Supplements
There are a few supplements that are known to be beneficial for allergies.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can offer great support to the immune system.. Studies have shown it may promote a healthy inflammatory response, can help reduce swelling, and ease related symptoms that occur with an allergic reaction. Vitamin C can work to protect your cells from damage, helping reduce the severity of allergic reactions and work to help keep your body as healthy as possible. When you are experiencing symptoms of allergies, Vitamin C can slow down the overreaction of your body to environmental triggers by decreasing your body’s histamine production.
Probiotics are also said to assist with the immune system and help ease allergy symptoms. Since allergies are the result of an imbalance in the immune system that causes the body to react too strongly to a stimuli, taking a probiotic may be a key in building up your immune system so it can better fight allergy symptoms.
If you find that no matter what you do- your allergies persist to no avail- then it may be best to speak with your family doctor or seek over the counter allergy relief.
Spring doesn’t have to be a dreadful time- don’t let your allergies destroy the beauty Spring brings.
Try some of these tips today and enjoy your Spring!