Allergy season has arrived! Fortunately, natural medicine has much to offer in the way of relief. Here are a few of Dr. Sarah’s tips for preventing and managing allergies:
- Wear sunglasses while outside – prevents the pollen from getting into the eyes.
- Wash face or at least the eyes and eye brows and blow your nose when coming in from the outdoors.
- For those with moderate to severe allergies, consider washing hair prior to going to sleep at night and change your bedding, especially your pillow cases regularly.
- Use nasal saline rinses, daily. I have found patients have been most compliant with the Neil Med brand, as this is much easier to use than a neti pot – especially for those with neck and back problems. Look for their start kit and refills for the saline solution. Use distilled water.
- Alternating hot/ cold sinus compresses. 3 minutes with a well wrung out, warm wash cloth gently compressed over the sinuses, followed by 30 seconds with an ice cold wash cloth gently compressed over the sinuses, repeat this cycle three times. Can be repeated multiple times during the day if needed.
- Key supplements, there are a number that I love, but a few favorites are vitamin C and Quercetin. Both are natural mast cell stabilizers and can help to reduce inflammation and prevent histamine release from cells.
- Consider using local, raw honey. There is some evidence that natural exposure to pollen, can help to reduce allergy symptoms, in those sensitive to common tree allergens, such as birch tree pollen.
- Consider acupuncture. I have a number of patients who use acupuncture as a mainstay treatment for their seasonal allergies. Clinical evidence points towards the effectiveness of acupuncture of seasonal allergic rhinitis as well.
In short, natural medicine has many solutions that can help decrease the nagging itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing that seasonal allergies can bring and without the troubling adverse effects of the pharmaceutical options.
Delving into the benefits of acupuncture and natural medicine can provide simple and effective relief.
Dr. Sarah is a naturopathic doctor & acupuncturist at Collective Health Center in Leesburg Virginia. She loves helping patients get to the root cause of their nagging health concerns with natural medicine.