By Dr. Jenna Dye
The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the pollen is circulating in the air. For some of us, this amazing time of year brings on watery eyes, sneezing, sniffles, coughing, wheezing and itching. These symptoms make it difficult to enjoy this beautiful weather. You don’t have to be miserable! There are some simple, natural ways to reduce your exposure and conquer Spring.
Reduce Your In-Home Allergens:
I recommend purchasing a good quality air purifier. You want to make sure it is a HEPA air purifier and it is running 24/7 during the allergy season (I run mine year-round). We are exposed to many allergens when we sleep, so having it in the bedroom is beneficial. Just make sure to change the filters and clean it regularly.
If you have carpet in your home, vacuum at least twice per week to help decrease your exposure. If allergies are very severe and you have pets, you may want to consider an alternative flooring. Don’t forget to clean your windowsills, blinds and ceiling fans. They love to collect dust and we often forget about them. You can also eliminate dust mites by placing your pillows, comforters and blankets in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes just once per week.
Allergy symptoms all stem from underlying inflammation and overreaction in the body. Any additional factors that cause inflammation in the body worsen symptoms. This can include foods, chemicals and stress. By reducing your toxic load, your body can better handle the allergies.
Choose foods that are nutrient dense such as green leafy vegetables and antioxidant rich fruits. Avoid dairy products, as they can add to inflammation, produce more mucus and aggravate current allergy symptoms. Reduce your consumption of processed and high sugar foods. If you have food sensitivities, avoiding these during an allergy flare up can also be helpful.
Do your best to decrease your stress, make sure you are drinking ample water and get plenty of sleep.
Boost Your Immune System:
If you suffer from allergies, you may be more prone to illnesses such as sinus infections and other respiratory conditions. Make sure your immune system is in tip-top shape before the allergy season begins. Taking Vitamin C daily can boost your immunity and act as mild anti-histamine. Local raw honey can be used daily to help prime the system for the upcoming allergy season. A simple nasal rinse with saline, such as a neti pot, can help decrease and prevent that stubborn stuffy nose. Regular exercise can promote the anti-inflammatory pathway and boost immunity.
See your Naturopathic Physician:
A Naturopathic Physician can offer a more individualized approach for you and your specific allergy symptoms. This is achieved by treating any underlying illnesses and decreasing inflammation. This support along with modifying your diet, reducing your exposure, and boosting your immune system can allow you to start enjoying this gorgeous time of year!
Dr. Jenna Dye is a licensed Naturopathic Physician. Her role is to support the body’s inherent ability to restore and maintain optimal health. Together with her patients, this is achieved by identifying and removing barriers that may be impacting health while creating a healing environment. For more information visit www.drjennadye.com.