My new flurry of gardening catelogues reminded me that not only is Spring upon us, but so is allergy season. Are you prepared?
There are some very simple, “home remedies” that can reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
1. Sinus irrigation – a simple procedure performed daily at home. Some people like to use a neti pot, but my new favorite is a product called “Sinus Rinse” By Neil Med. There are advantages and disadvanges to each product. The neti pot can be comprised of glass, stainless steel or plastic and is reusable. Glass neti pots are usually thin, and I have broken my fair share by bumping it off the bathroom counter. With a neti pot, positioning of the head and arm to perform a proper irrigation without having water enter the ears takes some practice. The Sinus Rinse on the other hand is soft, reuseable (for 90 days) and can be performed without tilting the head. The drawback to that product is that one must replace it. Both the neti pot and Sinus Rinse require a saline solution that can be made at home or warm water can be mixed with a pre-made mix. By irrigating the nasal cavity daily, pollutants, dander and allergens are rinsed out of the nose. Hypertonic solutions have the added benefit of reducing swelling of the tissues which makes breathing easier. So everytime you brush your teeth, be sure to clean your nose as well!
2. Quercetin - is an antioxidant that helps moderate an allergic response. Increasing intake of red apples, capers and onions in your diet can increase your bioflavinoid intake.
3. Bromelain – reduces inflammation. Increase your intake of pineapple or talk with Dr. Conte about correct supplementation to reduce symptoms.
4. Probiotics – In 2008, National Geographic magazine ran an article featuring research and interviews from well respected medical authorities like National Jewish Medical and Research Center. A very clear message? Diet, environmental factors (having pets in the home or living near a farm) and probiotics impact people who suffer from allergies. Addition of the correct strains can reduce allergic symptoms.
So, what do you do if you take all of the suggested steps (as approved by your Physician) and still have symptoms? Follow-up with your doctor. Lab testing may be necessary to identify items that are causing the allergic reaction, or you may have a more serious issue like a sinus infection.