Millions of people all over the globe suffer from some type of allergy. In fact, in the United Sates alone, there are 50 million who are affected by nasal allergies. What’s worse is the number is increasing. Moreover, allergic disease such as asthma is now one of the leading chronic diseases, affecting people of all ages from different backgrounds.
What Is Allergy?
Common Types of Allergy
While all symptoms of allergy are a result of a hypersensitive response to normally harmless substances, not all allergies are the same. For some people, they could walk through a room that hasn’t been cleaned for a while and just feel okay. For some, a few second spent in the same place would already mean incessant sneezing, shortness of breath, and swollen eyes. Having said that, here are some of the most common types of allergy people suffer from today.
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Bee Sting Allergy
- Food Allergy
- Skin Contact Allergy
- Drug Allergy
- Latex Allergy
Recommended Practices For Treating Allergy Naturally
Allergies can affect the quality of your life. Seasonal allergies, in particular, can be exasperating, and so can the medication you pop to get rid of the sneezing and the red eyes. What’s worse is that most antihistamine drugs can be very expensive, especially the non-drowsy ones. The good news is that it’s possible for you to get through allergy season naturally! While there is no known cure for allergies, there are ways for you to manage and control it, and that without having to opt for medicine. Here are some of the natural ways you can keep allergy symptoms at bay.
Rinse With Saline
They say prevention is better than cure, and that’s just what you’re going to do by rinsing your nasal passages with saline – take note – before the symptoms strike. A saline rinse will wash away any foreign substance in your nasal passages. Do this daily and at least twice a day during allergy season. This won’t necessarily get rid of symptoms, but will definitely reduce your need for taking medication.
Go For Fish Oil
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and has been labeled as a “brain food” for its potential to help with Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and bipolar disorder. However, do you know that it’s excellent for allergies as well? A study done involving people who suffer from allergic asthma found that those who took fish oil supplements every day for a month had reduced levels of leukotrienes, substances that contribute to allergic reactions. If you’re not already doing it, make it a habit of popping fish oil daily starting today.
Protection From Pollen: Hat and Sunglasses
You may or you may not like the fashion idea, but it will definitely help you keep pollen from getting into your eyes and nose and making them watery and itchy. If you’re not a fan of the big hat, you can opt for a shawl or a scarf instead. Just make sure it’s big enough to provide ample protection for your face, especially when you’re going out and the wind is blowing hard.
Evening Exercise Is The Way To Go
There’s nothing wrong with exercising outdoors in the morning, but you might want to reconsider if you have allergies. Studies suggest that people with allergies experience increased itching and sneezing in the morning, and this is due to the fact that most trees release their pollen at sunup. Not only that, but pollen tend to fly most thickly during midday. For this reason, save your outdoor workout for the evening.
The Annals of Internal Medicine released a report stating that acupuncture may help reduce symptoms of hay fever. The study involved allergy patients who were given acupuncture treatment. After a dozen sessions, the patients experienced more relief and were able to use less medication. The researchers couldn’t point exactly how acupuncture helps, but they conclude that it may have to do with how the treatment restrain inflammatory substances in the immune system usually involved in allergic reactions.
Keep Your Environment Allergen-Free
Most of the elements that trigger allergies are usually just inside your own home. Accumulated dust, animal dander, dust mites, and even bed bugs all have the potential to trigger allergic reactions. It’s important to keep your environment clean if you are to keep allergy at bay. If possible, invest in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA or high-efficiency particulate air filter. Using HEPA filters for your heating system and air conditioner can also help minimize allergy attacks. In the same manner, it’s also important to keep your car allergen-free by cleaning the interiors regularly, as well as chaining the cabin air filter once a year. Most of us spend much of our time inside the car, and we may not notice it sometimes, but the things that are causing us to sneeze incessantly are just inside our vehicles.
Do A Pollen Count
Would you agree that it would be a great idea if you could predict whether you’re going to suffer from allergic symptoms today or not? The fact is it’s possible! Websites such as www.pollen.com and www.accuweather.com provide allergy forecasts and let you know whether it’s safe for you to go out on a certain day or not. You can even opt for the allergy forecasts to be sent directly to your email.
It’s All In The Food
Whether you have food allergies or not, you have to realize that what you eat may have an effect on your symptoms. There are simply foods you need to avoid during allergy season. In the same manner, there are foods you need to eat during the same period to help manage your symptoms. In short, diet plays a huge part in your attempt to treat allergy.
In terms of food, you should avoid, your goal is to minimize or eliminate food that you are sensitive to. If you haven’t checked with your doctor yet and have no idea what these foods may be, you may want to start with foods that usually worsen hay fever symptoms. These include caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, dairy, wheat, citrus, and sugar.
Food high in preservatives such as sodium sulfite, artificial sweeteners, potassium bisulfite, and sodium bisulfite. You might also want to steer clear of shrimp, dried fruits, and anything that is highly processed.
Now, if you have ragweed allergy, you should avoid eating sunflower seeds, banana, cucumber, melons, and chamomile, all of which could trigger allergic reactions.
The list may be overwhelming, but the good news is that the foods you can eat during allergy season are just as great tasting. Number one on the list of food to eat for treating allergy symptoms is raw local honey. It works perfectly for allergies because it contains pollen that’s what’s usually causing your symptoms. Taking just a couple of tablespoons each day should be enough to deal with the general symptoms.
To ease respiratory problems, bone broth from chicken, lamb, or beef should do the trick. It helps expel excess mucus in the nasal passages and helps reduce inflammation at the same time.
To boost your immune system, go for apple cider vinegar as well. It also supports lymphatic drainage and breaks up mucus effectively.
Ginger and garlic, as well as onions and horseradish – straight from the kitchen drawer – are all very helpful during allergy season, as they help break down toxins in the body.
In terms of spicy foods, there’s a bit of a debate to whether they should be included in your diet during allergy season. Some say they help thin excessive mucus buildup. Others say they should only be enjoyed during parts of the year when pollen counts are low. The explanation is that spicy foods may actually lead to a torrent of histamine. So, while spicy foods such as peppers, wasabi, and horseradish may provide intense cleansing of the sinuses, they may also set off sinus problems. At the same time, they may lead to heartburn and acid reflux as well, and may trigger issues with the throat, nose, and ears.
When Is The Best Time To Opt For Meds?
Finally, you need to understand that some allergies can be life threatening. If you believe you have an allergy that may be potentially deadly, you should see an allergist fast. An allergist will help you get to the root of your problem in order that future reactions may be prevented and the best treatment be given if necessary.