Yes, spring is here, with the sunshine and warmth many of us have been craving AND the allergies that many of us dread.
Seasonal allergies are a sort of an autoimmune situation. More specifically, seasonal allergies can be considered a “hyperimmune response,” as in a far too dramatic response to substances in the environment that are not actually dangerous. Remember, the immune system is supposed to protect us against HARMFUL things. But ragweed? Pollen? Seriously? And, yes, unfortunately it happens. The immune system becomes supercharged, overeager, so to speak, and sends the body into a full blown defensive state over naturally occurring, seasonally produced substances, leaving us with rashes, swelling, itches, nasal congestion, headaches, runny eyes, even dizziness and fatigue.
So what can we do?
Try to reduce exposure during the most difficult times by staying indoors, wearing a protective mask, using filters in the home, monitoring those wonderful open windows, delegate lawn mowing and yard work to others.
The pharmacy has all kinds of decongestants and antihistamines, and on the “natural” side, consider supplements like nettles, quercetin, local honey and good old vitamin C, which is a gentle antihistamine.
Additionally, the nasal passages can be cleaned with a neti pot, or other simple nasal cleansing techniques. The theory here is that allergens stick to the small hairs lining the nostril. By washing them off, the allergens are removed and the inflammatory response is diminished.
Acupuncture treatment can often relieve some of the acute symptoms and people who receive treatment on a regular basis often notice that their allergy symptoms become much more tolerable in general.
Wishing you all the best,