Saturday, June 12, 2010

Surviving Allergies

As the plants bloom allergy season begins again; 22 million Americans flock to doctors and drugstores to get relief. Relief comes in only a few forms each one with a cost. Who really wants to be drowsy all day?

For many people the way to get allergy relief is natural alternatives. It is believed that herbs, food, and phytonutrients will eventually cure allergies plus all-natural treatments are often less expensive and they work! Vitamin C, stinging nettles, and quercetin often found in apples, grapes, onions, and green tea have been shown to have antihistamine activity. Spicy food can also help with allergies because they thin mucous secretions which help to clear nasal passages. The best spices to try are cayenne pepper, hot ginger, fenugreek, onion, and garlic.

Reducing allergens help with allergies. When outdoors, wear glasses (sunglass/prescription); this will reduce the amount of pollen around the eyes. After coming back indoors wash hands to remove clinging pollen then, when possible, take a shower because pollen will linger on hair and clothes. Keeping the house clean will also help. Try cleaning with a damp rag or mop instead of dry dusting or sweeping. Vacuuming rugs and carpet frequently also reduces allergens. Air filters, especially HEPA filters reduce allergens in the air. Keep drying laundry inside to prevent pollen from setting on them. Don’t over water your indoor plants! The extra water creates a place for mold growth which can cause allergies.

Before making outdoor plans check your calendar! Pollen seasons are predictable so if you know what you react to see when the season starts and plan accordingly. Check the weather and allergy forecast. Pollen count is the highest on warm breezy mornings and cool, rainy days. If the pollen count is high try avoiding exercising outdoors or try less intense activities. If you are going out-of-town make sure to check the allergy forecast of your destination. Before starting your journey, turn the air conditioner on and open windows for 10 minutes. This removes dust mites from within the system. While driving keep the windows closed and use the air conditioner to circulate clean air. Before turning off the car, turn off the air conditioner and allow the blower to continue for a short time; this dries the vents and prevents moisture collection.

Before making any plans for the summer talk to your doctor about when to take your medicine. For some people taking it at night will help in the morning. Make sure that you keep treatments with you whenever you travel.

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