As they say, "March blows in like a lion…" This year it seems like spring arrived early with a warm and dry January followed by some wet weather in February. The hills are green and the pollen counts are rising. With this unusual weather, we have seen our patients who suffer from allergies come in sooner and more symptomatic than usual. We expect it will be a tough season for allergic people.
Fortunately, there is much you can do to manage your allergy symptoms effectively while keeping your immune system strong.
Here are a few tips to manage your springtime allergies
1. When driving, close your car windows, turn on the AC and adjust the temperature to your comfort levels. Doing this filters pollens and allergens out of the air while driving.
2. Wash your hair in the evening before bedtime. Allergens settle in the hair during the day and then onto our pillows at night, exposing us to more allergens for longer periods of time.
3. Create a "safe haven" in your home it you are able. This is a room with low allergenic potential—pets aren't allowed, no wool carpets or dusty furnishings. You can retreat there on rough days.
4. Use an indoor HEPA air filter to reduce exposures while in your home. If you have a safe haven, locate it there. We recommend and sell the Austin Air filter. Speak with Michele if you are interested.
5. Take buffered vitamin C. We typically recommend a dosage range of 500-1000 mg 2-3x/day. Clinical ecologists who test people for allergies often keep some on hand to reduce allergy symptoms that are aggravated during testing.
6. Reduce or eliminate dairy products. These can aggravate congestion in many people, and the fats in dairy contribute to inflammation associated with allergies.
7. Use a neti pot or learn to do regular sinus rinses. We often recommend NeilMed brand sinus rinse kits that are available at most pharmacies and Costco. This removes allergens from the nasal and sinus passages, thus reducing exposure.
How we can help
At SFNM, one of the most common conditions we treat is hay fever and allergies. Acupuncture is quite effective for managing symptoms and supporting a healthy, balanced immune system.
We also can recommend herbal formulas that affect the production and release of histamine, the vasoactive chemical associated with the allergic response.
Additionally we can recommend individualized oral antigen therapy with the goal of making your immune systems less reactive and more tolerant of known allergic chemicals without doing allergy injections.
You don't have to suffer or take medications that have unpleasant side-effects. You have options and we are here to help you find effective ways to manage your allergy symptoms.
Dr. Carl Hangee-Bauer