Preparing for Seasonal Allergies

Ah…it’s spring!. The perfect time to get outside for outside gardening, long walks in the neighborhood, and hikes in the hills. Spring means flower buds and blooming trees — and if you’re one of the unlucky millions of people who have seasonal allergies, you know what it means to have the symptoms that follow such as itchy-watery eyes, sneezing and a stuffy and runny nose.

Seasonal allergies — also called hay fever and allergic rhinitis — can make you miserable. But before you settle for plastic flowers and artificial turf, try these simple strategies to keep seasonal allergies under control.

Know your allergy triggers. Here are a few common triggers to be aware of:

  1. Tree, Grass & Weed Pollination:

    The biggest spring allergy trigger is pollen. Trees, grasses, and weeds release these tiny grains into the air to fertilize other plants. When they get into the nose of someone who’s allergic, they send the body’s defenses haywire.

  2. Mold:

    Mold growth happens in the spring, or when the combination of rain and warm temperatures create optimal conditions for it to grow and multiply in certain areas of your home. This is especially true if you live somewhere with high humidity. Be vigilant about wiping up moisture that gathers in such places as around windows, in bathrooms, and in enclosed spaces like attics. If you do notice mold accumulating, immediately spray the area with a combination of water and white vinegar.

  3. After the Rain:

    While rain initially washes away pollen, counts will often burst following the initial decline as plant growth is promotes. Mix that scenario with wind as things begin to dry and you have the perfect storm for those with seasonal allergies.

  4. Time of Day:

    In early spring during grass and tree season, pollen levels tend to reach their peak count while in late pollen counts tend to peak early in morning in late spring. Opt to watch pollen counts and take your workouts inside when pollen counts are high, even if it’s first thing in the morning.

  5. Reduce your exposure to allergy triggers:

    • Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air.
    • Delegate lawn mowing and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.
    • After being outdoors, remove any clothes you were wearing and shower to rinse away pollen from your skin and hair.
    • Don’t hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
    • Wear a pollen mask if you do outside chores.
    • Take a shower before bed to wash off potential allergen exposures.

    P3 Recommendations:

    1. For prevention:
      • OrthoMolecular D-Hist: Loading dose is 2 caps 3x per day for 7 days, then maintain at 2 caps 1-2x per day. Can be started 1-2 months prior to expected rise in pollen.
      • Xlear nasal spray: 2 sprays per nostril, up to 6 times per day. This helps to keep the allergens from taking hold in your sinuses.
    2. For acute allergy symptoms:

      Integrative Therapeutics AllQlear, 1 chewable tablet at onset of allergic symptoms. Can repeat after 15 min if symptoms persist.

    3. Increase fish oil to 3-4g per day. Decreases systemic inflammation which in turn can improve allergy symptoms.
    4. Avoid sugar, dairy, gluten, corn, soy, eggs: inflammatory foods that can contribute to and worsen allergy symptoms.
    5. Rinse your sinuses and eyes. Rinsing your nasal and eyes passages with saline solution is a quick, inexpensive and effective way to relieve nasal congestion. Rinsing directly flushes out mucus and allergens from your nose. Use over-the-counter preparations to rinse your eyes or nose saline to flush out potential allergens.
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