Tips to Relieve Springtime Allergies
Spring time is one of the most beautiful seasons of the year! Spring flowers bloom, grass begins to grow, pollen begins to flow, and the bees are buzzing all around. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, these beauties ignite symptoms such as cough, irritation of the eye, itchy skin, sneezing, and runny nose.
So, if your seasonal allergies are giving you the blues, here are some simple tips to relieve those spring allergy symptoms. And remember, prevention is key!
Always remember to shower as soon as you enter your home after being outdoors and be sure to throw your garments in the washer. You may not realize it, but the pollen you inhale also accumulates on your clothing.
Wear protective clothing before going outdoors such as glasses, surgical or lawn masks, long sleeves, covered footwear, and gloves for garden work.
Rinse your nasal passages with 0.9% normal saline. It’s isotonic and simulates your body’s natural salt concentration. Normal saline rinses are also effective as a nasal decongestant. When using a neti pot saline rinse only use distilled water.
Use a humidifier and add essential oils to the water such as eucalyptus, lemon balm, or tea tree. These are known for their use as a homeopathic for allergies and hay fever. Please note, there is not enough scientific data to support essential oils’ effectiveness, and they are not FDA approved for allergy and hay fever treatment.
Consume natural antihistamines, such as vitamin C & quercetin. Studies have demonstrated that vitamin C and the antioxidant quercetin naturally block histamine. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits and supplements. While quercetin is found in foods such as apples, grapefruit, okra and onions, and it is also available as a supplement.
When homeopathic and natural remedies are no longer effective, you can try over-the-counter antihistamines, and corticosteroid inhalers once daily for short-term relief of allergy symptoms. Antihistamines block histamine release, which causes allergy symptoms. They are available in formulations such as eye drops, inhalers, syrups and tablets. Corticosteroid inhalers work as anti-inflammatory agents that inhibit itching and nasal discharge associated with allergic rhinitis. Common drug interactions associated with antihistamines and inhaled corticosteroids are alcohol, antacids such as milk of magnesia, antibiotics, anti-fungal, antiretrovirals and theophylline (common bronchodilator for asthma). The most common side effects of antihistamines and inhaled corticosteroids are drowsiness, dry mouth, headache, nasal discomfort, nosebleeds and stomach pain.
However, there are disease states contraindicated in the use of oral antihistamines and inhaled corticosteroids such as asthma, heart conditions, and diabetes. These OTC products should be also be avoided in persons with kidney and liver disease. So, talk to your doctor before using any over-the-counter antihistamines and corticosteroid inhalers if you have any pre-existing conditions. Allergies can also continue into the summer months, so in order to avoid persistent allergy symptoms, take the necessary precautions, & now you have these tools to assist! Wishing you an allergy-free spring!
About the Author
Tayiana J.Reed is a clinical pharmacist and wellness expert dedicated to curating affordable, clean and natural health & beauty products to cultivate a holistic lifestyle. Dr. Reed currently works in public health in the DC area and has dedicated her career to helping patients and clients obtain clinically proficient, cost effective drug information.