For the best chance of minimizing symptoms, prominent alternative health expert Bryce Wylde advises allergy sufferers to start making changes now
If just thinking about spring makes your eyes burn, itch and water then you may still have time to get prepared. Experts say that last winter’s snowfall is causing trees and grasses to erupt with very high pollen levels. This year’s pollen forecasts are also high in the southern parts of the country.
Pollen, and other airborne allergens, causes cells in the immune system to release histamines. Those histamines trigger everything from itchy eyes and throat to a runny nose. By the time most people seek help, they’re miserable from a full-blown allergy attack, and vasoconstrictor eye drops and antihistamines (with all their many side effects) may be their only options. From eye drops that sting to pills that give you “medicine head,” this solution may not be pleasant.
The trick is to catch allergies early. There are many things you can do to cut your exposure to allergens and even tame the body’s allergic responses.
How to enjoy more freedom from allergy symptoms
- Understand that allergens are everywhere! It’s a common misconception that allergens are seasonal and only encountered outdoors. Your indoor air (home, car and office) is often more polluted. Plus, even if you don’t see yellow dust, microscopic outdoor allergens can cling to your hair and clothing. You may be carrying them with you throughout your day.
- Wear sunglasses and a hat. These will help keep allergens from getting into your eyes and clinging to your hair.
- Remove outdoor allergens once you come home. Change your clothes. Wash your hair. Put your pillow and pillow case in the dryer. Otherwise, you’ll be sleeping in the pollen to which you were exposed outside.
- Give your nose and eyes some natural support. Cleansing your nasal passages with a neti pot is a safe and natural way to help your body’s natural mechanism for clearing your sinuses of bacteria and allergens. Another decades-old homeopathic solution is Similasan Allergy Eye Relief which is used for red, itchy, watery eyes. Because it contains only natural active ingredients (no dyes, chemical vasoconstrictors, decongestants or steroids) these drops can be used regularly. Moreover, they help to activate your body’s own defense mechanisms to address the underlying problem.
- Clean your indoor air. Change your home’s filter every three months, and always use a HEPA filter. If you miss being able to open your windows to let in fresh air, replace your traditional window screens with ones that filter as much as 50% more pollen.
- Replace your vehicle’s dirty cabin air filter. These filters trap pollen, dust and other airborne particles. They typically need to be replaced every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. But if you drive on dirt roads, you may want to replace yours more frequently.
- Exercise indoors on heavy allergen/smog days. Nearly every city or market has a weather network or allergy association that monitors the pollen and smog indexes. Find a source you like and get in the habit of checking it before you start your day.
Allergies don’t have to be a no-win battle. The key is to change your behavior before symptoms become severe,” concludes Wylde. “That way, you can help your body respond more effectively when it is exposed to allergens and finally enjoy all the good things that the season has to offer.
Bryce Wylde is a highly knowledgeable and respected natural healthcare clinician whose specialty is homeopathy, clinical nutrition, supplementation, and botanical medicine and whose focus is routed within functional medicine. Bryce is the author of the national bestseller, The Antioxidant Prescription: How to Use the Power of Antioxidants to Prevent Disease and Stay Healthy for Life and Wylde On Health: Your Best Choices in the World of Natural Health.