Allergy 911

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you are no stranger to the wide range of symptoms: red, swollen, itchy eyes, a chronically runny or stuffed up nose, itchy ears, a scratchy throat, or that feeling of your head being full of cotton. You may have symptoms for a few weeks in the spring or fall, or suffer for the entire summer. Whatever your particular pattern, seasonal allergies have the potential to make you miserable. The following are some tips to help minimize symptoms during your allergy season:

 -Use a Neti Pot. It’s looks like a small teapot and is used to cleanse the sinuses. Neti Pots can be found at most drug stores or natural food stores. Instructions should be included with the pot. (Mix ½ tsp of sea salt in warm water pour half water into one nostril and let it run out the other, repeat on the other side.)

 -Wash your face freqently and shower in the evening to wash off the pollen on your skin and hair that has accumulated during the day.

 -Change your clothes after you’ve been working or playing outdoors.

 -Try supplementing with quercetin and/or grape seed extract. Both are found in red wine, but in supplement form may control the release of symptom-causing histamines.

 -Eat spicy foods. They thin the mucous and can help clear nasal passages.

 -If you suffer from fall allergies, your symptoms may be aggravated by eating melon, bananas, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, chamomile, and supplements containing echinacea. Experiment and avoid those foods that make your symptoms worse.

 -Keep your house and car windows closed during the height of your allergy season. Use air conditioning, but don’t let it blow directly on your face.

 -Wash your hands after you have played with or pet any animals that have been outside. Keep outdoor pets off the furniture. Their fur acts like a pollen magnet.

 -Wear a paper filter mask (found at drug stores) when you are mowing the lawn.

 -Try acupuncture. In a study published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture reduced symptoms in all 26 patients participating the the study—without side effects.

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