Facebook Pixel

Seasonal Allergies: What Can I Do?

By Expert HERWriter
Rate This
what-you-can-do-about-seasonal-allergies Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Have you been rubbing your eyes all day long? Have you had a runny nose or watery eyes for days at a time?

You start sneezing and you can’t stop? By chance does this happen at the same time of year every year?

If I’m talking about you -- you have seasonal allergies. The common symptoms of spring allergies are runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, itchy eyes or itchy nose or dark circles underneath the eyes -- sometimes called allergic shiners.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reported that 40 million Americans suffer from environmental allergies. This makes seasonal allergies the fifth leading chronic disease in the United States.

As winter moves into spring and nature begins its renewal and rebirth process. The air becomes saturated with pollen that we breathe in through our nose and mouth activating our immune system.

The symptoms are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to pollen. The immune system for people who suffer from allergies goes into overdrive and releases several chemicals including histamine that cause the symptoms listed above.

In the spring, tree pollens are the first allergens to start affecting us. As we move into summer grass allergies begin to take hold. April showers bring May flowers and dampness creates the perfect breeding ground for mold allergies and mold allergies.

Pollen is measured by the pollen count which is the number of grains of pollen per cubic meter in the air. If you have allergies the pollen count is going to become one the most interesting portions of the daily news.

Knowing the pollen count can be helpful to you by giving you an idea about what to expect for the day or week. This helps you make decisions about outdoor and weekend plans.

If you think you are experiencing seasonal allergies then a trip to the allergy specialist for a RAST test can confirm your self-diagnosis. The RAST or radioallergosorbent test test measures the antibodies you are creating from an environmental allergy.

The allergist may conduct a different test called the prick or wheal test. In this test a very small amount of the allergen, i.e., a tree pollen, is placed under the skin on the arm or back to see if your body produces a small hive or wheal. If you do, it is considered a positive test for the allergy.

Now that you know you have a particular allergen, what can you do to lessen your symptoms? The first thing to do is to find out what months will your allergy be the worst, and start treating your allergies at least two months before you have any symptoms.

This can help build up medicines in your system strengthen your immune system against being overwhelmed when the allergens become airborne. When I treat seasonal allergies I usually have patients come to start treatments in February, about two months ahead of the beginning of the allergy season.

It is amazing that as our bodies are prepared for the allergies, the symptoms are significantly reduced. In fact some of my patients report being “cured” because their symptoms have been relieved.

I usually put my patients on an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce overreaction of the immune system to seasonal allergens. To learn more about an anti-inflammatory diet check out my book Daelicious! Recipes for vibrant living.

I also recommend food with high levels of quercetin like green or black tea, onions, scallions, garlic, and certain hot peppers. Quercetin helps to stabilize mast cells and reduce the release of histamine, the cause of the symptoms.

When histamine is stabilized, symptoms are significantly reduced. This is why your medical doctor gives you prescription antihistamines when you go into the office.

Once the allergens have overwhelmed the air, the best plan is to reduce your exposure and contact with them. My first suggestion is reduce the contact with your nasal tissues.

Nasal irrigation is an ancient East Indian treatment that is very effective in reducing the amount of pollen in the nose. A warm saline solution, a salt and water combination, is placed in a container that looks similar to a tea pot called a netilota or neti pot.

The warm solution is poured through one side of the nose and is released through the other side of the nose carrying out pollen and extra mucus that has build up in the nose. The neti pot is one of my favorite treatments.

I know it might not sound like much fun but cleaning your house by vacuuming and dusting on a weekly basis can help tremendously. Cleaning gets rid of pollen that come into the house.

Consider buying a HEPA filter in your home to clean the air in your home is important in the treatment options. Also taking showers and changing clothes when you come in from significant time outside reduces your exposure to your symptoms as well.

Learning more about seasonal allergies and how to treat them can make a world of difference in how you are able to enjoy spring. I hope you can use this information to make it a vibrant and allergy-free spring.

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Dae

Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.com
Dr. Dae's book: Daelicious! Recipes for Vibrant Living can be purchased @ www.healthydaes.com

Dr. Dae's Bio:

“Dr. Dae" (pronounced Dr. Day) Daemon Jones is a Naturopathic Physician who treats the whole person using safe and effective combinations of traditional and natural methods to produce optimal health and well-being in the lives of her patients.

What to Do when Seasonal Allergies to Grasses, Weeds, Mold, and Tree Pollen Make You Symptomatic. Yahoo voices. Retrieved Mar. 26, 2012

Allergy testing. MedlinePlus. Retrieved Mar. 26, 2012

Nasal Saline Irrigation and Neti Pots. WebMD. Retrieved Mar. 26, 2012

Reviewed March 27, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


Get Email Updates

Related Checklists

Allergies Guide


Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!