Keeping Your Spring Allergies in Check

Allergies are triggered by an immune reaction that is out of proportion to the antigenic stimuli — which is a fancy way of saying that your body goes overboard when it feels threatened by allergens. And no season is as painful, or as mucus-soaked, as the transitional period between winter and spring. Allergy-related medical attention costs the country roughly $18 billion annually.

There are two main culprits when it comes to seasonal allergic responses:

Ragweed and other weed pollens, and mold (both indoors and outdoors). Theories vary about why allergies are on the rise. Some experts say climate change has created the perfect breeding ground for fungal spores and ragweed.

So how do experts suggest you deal with common allergy symptoms?

Count Your Pollen:

Stop by the National Allergy Bureau’s website to get an accurate sense of how much pollen is in the air at any given time.

Salt Water:

Nasal saline rinses can go a long way in alleviating congestion in the nasal tracks by clearing allergens from the membranes inside your nose. You can also gargle salt water to help alleviate a sore or scratchy throat.

Keeping the Outside Outside:

If you suffer from allergies, when you come in from the outdoors, shower as soon as possible or change your clothes. Many allergens, like pollen, ride you like a cruise ship. The last thing you want is to give them free passage into the domicile — your sanctuary against the sniffles. Ditto for your pet: wipe off their paws and fur, which provide an ideal transportation device for outdoor irritants.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

If you aren’t having at least some ACV per week, my only question is, why not? The health benefits of apple cider vinegar are numerous. Aside from helping aid digestion, ACV is reputed to reduce mucous production and help out your lymphatic system, which guards against the invasion of hostile micro-organisms in your body.

Acupuncture:

As unlikely as it sounds, many believe that acupuncture can release swelling, cut down on mucous, and reduce pain.

Quercetin:

This flavanol is known to be a natural antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory agent. Certain teas contain quercetin, as well as sage, onions, red wine, and apples. You can also supplement with the compound directly.

Allergies are no fun. So fight back and get ready to embrace all springtime has to offer.

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