Bless you! While we love the arrival of bluer skies and warmer weather, spring also ushers in allergy season. If you’ve noticed itchy eyes, a runny nose, and non-stop sneezing, you’re not alone. In fact, experts report that pollen counts are 21% higher, and allergy season lasts 20 days longer, compared to just 30 years ago. Luckily, hay fever doesn’t need to put a damper on your spring and summer. Read on for some allergy tips from our experts, so you and your loved ones can enjoy this beautiful weather!
First, let’s talk about what a seasonal allergy is. Seasonal allergies, or hay fever, occur when your body’s immune system reacts to an allergic substance, such as pollen or grass. Essentially, your body mischaracterizes this substance as a threat and releases histamines into your bloodstream. It is these chemicals that produce the symptoms of an allergic reaction, causing inflammation, sneezing, and other common symptoms. Luckily, there are many ways to prevent and treat these reactions, even beyond typical OTC anti-histamines.
Dr. Kelley, founder and medical director of Case Integrative Health, recommends AllerDHQ by Xymogen. She says, “I love this supplement because it acts as both an antihistamine, as well as a mast cell stabilizer. These cells are responsible for secreting histamine in the first place, making AllerDHQ a great option for individuals suffering from a histamine response”.
Another great option, recommended by Dr. Kelley, is a good old-fashioned neti pot with a saline rinse! This tool for nasal irrigation can be incredibly helpful in easing congestion and relieving symptoms. Dr. Kelley adds, “Try using [a neti pot] one to two times a day for your allergy symptoms- it’s an easy way to find quick relief”! The one caveat- if you’re making your own saline rinse, make sure to use distilled or sterilized water, and always clean your device between uses. While a neti pot is an incredibly safe tool, making sure to follow these steps will ensure that you don’t introduce any unwanted germs into your body.
Jenny Rowland, our certified health coach, has some great tips as well! She says, “Allergy season is a great time to focus on reducing inflammation and optimizing nutrients to help your immune cells do their job. I encourage clients to reduce exposure to irritants by investing in a quality air purifier and washing clothes and bedding that may have been exposed to aggravates.” This is a great way to prevent allergy symptoms in the first place, by removing the irritants themselves. Take it a step further, by taking a shower and washing your face upon returning indoors!
Whatever your allergy symptoms, make sure to speak with your provider to formulate a plan that works best for you! There are so many options available, to make sure that you can enjoy a summer free from endless sneezing and itching. Additionally, if you’re concerned about new symptoms, it’s always a good idea to obtain a PCR test to rule out COVID-19. Many of these symptoms overlap, and a PCR test will ensure that you’re treating the correct cause. Have a great summer!