3 Tips for Finding Relief During Horrible Allergy Seasons

If you’re planning to travel this summer, you may end up in a location with high pollen counts. These tiny little particles can become lodged in your nose, throat and eyes, triggering common symptoms associated with allergies, including itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, headaches, diarrhea and runny nose. You should plan your family trips carefully with the help of a naturopathic care physician.

Seasonal Allergies Increase

The amount of people struggling with seasonal allergies is increasing, along with the severity of the symptoms. Remember, allergies is nothing but an over-reaction of your immune system to particles that aren’t harmful. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there has been a rapid increase over the past 15 years, bringing allergic rhinitis cases up to 10 to 16 percent of the American adult population. This costs the healthcare system around $18 billion every year.

So far, there aren’t any solid reasons for the increase in allergies. However, there are various steps and techniques naturopathic family care professionals recommend.

Get Allergy Testing

Are you sure why you’re having allergic-like reactions? Some people mistake allergy symptoms for a cold or virus. One way to know for sure is to go to a naturopathic center to have allergy testing performed. This will help identify the triggers of the symptoms. At this point, you can consider natural allergy treatment, such as SLIT. This is a non-invasive method that can help gradually diminish your allergies.

Try Salt Water

The allergy medications sold in stores can leave you foggy-brained and drowsy, making them a non-popular choice for many people. Most naturopathic doctors don’t recommend over-the-counter drugs because they just cover up the symptoms. Salt water is an alternative you can try. A saline nasal rinse can help clarify your nasal membranes of pollen and other particles. You can also gargle with salt water to help alleviate your sore throat. This should be done once or twice daily to reduce congestion.

Take Off Your Shoes

When you get home from work or school, it’s a good idea to remove your shoes and clothing near the door. This will help to reduce the amount of pollen and other airborne contaminants that enter your home. Keep a hamper near the door, so you can have a place to put your outdoor clothes.

What Are Allergies?

An astonishing one in three of us is allergic to something, and approximately half of all allergies are food allergies. So if you have one or suspect you do – whether it is to pollen, peanuts, shellfish, milk or wheat – you are hardly alone.

With an allergy, the immune system produces a protein called an antibody to fight off the allergen that is causing the problem. In a classic allergy, an antibody called IgE is produced, triggering the release of a chemical, histamine, that usually causes a rapid, severe reaction such as swelling of the mucous membranes.

More common are allergic reactions involving the IgG antibody. This type can cause a delayed reaction – sometimes called a ‘food intolerance’ – up to 24 hours after exposure to the allergen. While not as obviously dramatic as a classic reaction, a food intolerance can seriously erode your wellbeing. Luckily it is easy to get to grips with, as you will find in this section.

Allergies, also known as allergic diseases, are a number of conditions caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system to something in the environment that usually causes little or no problem in most people. These diseases include hay fever, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma, and anaphylaxis. Symptoms may include red eyes, an itchy rash, runny nose, shortness of breath, or swelling. Food intolerances and food poisoning are separate conditions.

Common allergens include pollen and certain food. Metals and other substances may also cause problems. Food, insect stings, and medications are common causes of severe reactions. Their development is due to both genetic and environmental factors. The underlying mechanism involves immunoglobulin E antibodies (IgE), part of the body’s immune system, binding to an allergen and then to a receptor on mast cells or basophils where it triggers the release of inflammatory chemicals such as histamine. Diagnosis is typically based on a person’s medical history. Further testing of the skin or blood may be useful in certain cases. Positive tests, however, may not mean there is a significant allergy to the substance in question.

Early exposure to potential allergens may be protective. Treatments for allergies include avoiding known allergens and the use of medications such as steroids and antihistamines. In severe reactions injectable adrenaline (epinephrine) is recommended. Allergen immunotherapy, which gradually exposes people to larger and larger amounts of allergen, is useful for some types of allergies such as hay fever and reactions to insect bites. Its use in food allergies is unclear.