Controlling Summertime Allergies
Published May 27, 2010
As springtime moves into summer, millions of allergy sufferers find it impossible to enjoy the transitional beauty of Mother Nature at her best.
Allergens have no boundaries. Tree and flower pollen blowing in the wind can make life pretty miserable for young and old alike. But grass pollen is generally the primary trigger for late spring and summer allergic reactions. Our body mistakes the pollen for fungal spores and dust mites therefore the body reacts and triggers the release of histamine, a natural chemical that's part of your immune system. The histamine then triggers the allergy symptoms.
Allergy is the third most common childhood disease among children under 18 and the fifth leading chronic disease among adults. About 40 percent of children stricken with allergies become so debilitated that they have difficulty participating in outdoor activities.
With classroom windows wide open, children often find themselves wheezing and sneezing and unable to concentrate on their schoolwork every time the custodian cuts the grass. Here are a few natural ways to combat summertime allergies
- Keep indoor air clean by using non-toxic household cleaners.
- Eat healthy, whole organic foods with plenty of anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
- Juicing greens like watercress, kale, Swiss chard
- My favorite juicer drink: watercress, kale, carrot, celery, ginger, lemon
- Look into using specific natural health product supplements, like vitamin D, probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids, which may lower your risk of developing allergies.
- Use homeopathic remedies for allergies like Sabadil by Boiron.
- Use a Neti Pot or saline nasal spray.
- Drink plenty of water -- this will thin mucus and help the body get rid of toxins.
- Keep windows and doors closed during high pollen count times and stay inside on the driest, windiest days to minimize exposure to seasonal allergens.
- Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters inside to reduce most airborne contaminants, especially in bedroom locations.
- Limit lawn mowing and other gardening activities during peak allergy times; avoid use of chemical pesticides and lawn treatments.
- In humid areas, use a dehumidifier to limit mold development.
- Don't hang your laundry outside where pollen can stick to the fabric.
- If possible, avoid late morning and early afternoon activities when pollen counts are high.
- Shower and wash hair after being outside for prolonged periods; this goes for the kids, too.
- Buy allergy-proof bedding, including mattress and pillow case covers, to reduce allergy symptoms, and regularly wash sheets, blankets and pillow cases in hot water.
- Stuffed animals and real animals alike can contribute to allergic rhinitis, so wash them frequently with green cleaners.
- Consider removing carpeting in bedrooms or use area rugs that can be cleaned regularly. Vacuum all carpets and floor surfaces weekly with a HEPA-filter equipped appliance.
- Think about taking up a stress-coping technique, like yoga, meditation or Reiki.
Each year almost four million workdays are missed and more than $700 million in total lost productivity due to allergies.
It's impossible to avoid all the airborne pollen during allergy season, but with a little planning and conscientious effort you can minimize the misery.
Deirdre Imus is the Founder and President of The Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology (r) at Hackensack University Medical Center and Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Imus Cattle Ranch for Kids with Cancer. Deirdre is the author of four books, including three national bestsellers. She is a frequent speaker on green living and children's health issues, and is a contributor to FoxNewsHealth.com. For more information go to www.dienviro.com