Chances are you’re finding yourself sneezing, clearing your throat and wiping your eyes a whole lot more now than in previous weeks. While many have the fear that it just might be another wave of the dreaded CV-19, you probably want to scream – IT’S ALLERGIES!!!
Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in America with over 50 million people being affected annually. So, how can we tell if we are being impacted by seasonal allergies, what are some triggers we can avoid, and what can we do to help ourselves feel better?
What are Allergies?
Here’s how it works:
- Your immune system notices an airborne substance (allergen) that would ordinarily be harmless as a threat.
- Your immune system responds to that allergen by releasing histamines into your blood because it thinks it needs to defend your body.
- The histamines make symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Symptoms of allergies can include sneezing, itchy and watering eyes, wheezing or chest tightness, swollen lips or face, dry or cracked skin, and a raised rash.
Triggers for allergies can vary from season to season. So, we should look out for things like ragweed, nettles, plantains, mugworts, and sorrels during Autumn. By the time Winter comes around and the pollen from those pesky Autumn allergens dies off, the majority of us are spending more time indoors. We are most commonly allergic to mold, pet dander, cockroaches (YES!! COCKROACHES), and dust mites inside our own homes.
So, what’s a person to do?
Lowering your Allergy Triggers
Here are some great ways to lower your allergen interaction outdoors:
- Check the pollen count before you go outside for extended lengths of time
- Change your home’s air filter out for a HEPA filter
- Find LOCAL honey to help your body acclimate and give your body a natural vaccine
- Change clothes after coming back inside
- Use oils like Lavender, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint to help you breathe easier
Ways to lower your allergen interaction indoors:
- Wash your bedding in very hot water weekly
- Fix water leaks and places where mold can flourish
- Use a dehumidifier to decrease excess moisture in the air
- Minimizing the carpet in your home can assist in ridding your space of dust mites and dander
- Diffuse Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint essential oils throughout the house
Foods to Help with Allergies
Here are also some great foods that can help us with lung health:
- Pumpkin & Pepitas: High in Vitamin A & Magnesium to build your immune system and relieve your airways (Great for parasitical issues too! Bonus!)
- Tomato: High in Vitamin C (higher when cooked)
- Pineapple: High in Bromelain which fights itchy and runny nose
- Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory
- Apple: High in Quercetin which is a natural antihistamine for your body
- Beets & Beetroot: High in Antocyanins to help with inflammation
- Ginger: Combats swelling and irritation
- Citrus Fruits: High in Vitamin C to help with rhinitis
- Honey: Anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial
- Greek Yogurt: High in probiotics that help lower inflammation
Take it easy on yourself and get plenty of rest during allergy season as well and of course….cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hand for better hygiene. Then, smile when someone looks scared. It’s “JUST” allergies.