Natural Allergy Relief Options
What helps relieve allergies fast? Watching what you eat, getting plenty of fresh air and drinking enough water are some of the natural remedies that can relieve allergies by improving functions of the immune system.
It may take several weeks for your symptoms to subside, but they are likely to be better kept under control when you tackle the root causes. Here are nine ways to get natural allergy relief.
1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory, Alkaline Diet
First and foremost, start eating an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce your risk for allergies and many other health problems. Caring for your body with nutrient-dense foods gives your immune system the ability to repair itself, bringing it back into balance so it can fight off common allergies in your environment.
Here are some of the best foods and ingredients to incorporate into your diet to help you beat allergies:
Although its not abundant in many foods, vitamin D is also important for immune function and may help manage allergy symptoms. In fact, certain studies have shown that children who live farther from the equator are more likely to develop allergies and suffer higher rates of hospital admissions due to allergic reactions.
You can get enough vitamin D by spending about 15 minutes in the sun most days without sunscreen and by eating foods like whole milk and some mushrooms for natural allergy relief.
2. Local Raw Honey
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
5. Neti Pot
6. Stinging Nettle
Limit Exposure To Primary Allergens
Once you know which plant pollens are triggering your allergies, you can take steps to reduce your exposure to the troublesome material. Keep track of local pollen counts so you can stay indoors on heavy pollen days. Keep windows closed during peak pollen times, and use extra filtration if possible on your HVAC system.
Change out of dirty clothes whenever you come indoors from outside. Place dirty clothes in the laundry as soon as possible. Shower and wash your hair before bed each night to remove pollen from your hair and body.
Limit your exposure to animals and to mowing, raking, and other outdoor chores. Wear an allergy mask if you must be outdoors for prolonged periods. Wash your bedding well at least once per week.
Pollen Counts: Not Always The Full Story
Its a good idea to keep an eye on the predicted pollen counts, particularly if you plan to be outdoors for a long period of time.
But even if you see a high pollen count predicted in the newspaper, on a smartphone app or on TV, it doesnt necessarily mean that you will be affected. There are many types of pollen from different kinds of trees, from grass and from a variety of weeds. As a result, a high overall pollen count doesnt always indicate a strong concentration of the specific pollen to which youre allergic.
The opposite can be true, too: The pollen count might be low, but you might find yourself around one of the pollens that triggers your allergies.
Through testing, an allergist can pinpoint which pollens bring on your symptoms. An allergist can also help you find relief by determining which medications will work best for your set of triggers.
This page was reviewed for accuracy 4/23/2018.
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Talk With Your Doctor About Seasonal Allergy Testing Or Allergy Shots
Allergy testing can help your care provider diagnose your exact allergies and come up with a treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms.
Allergy tests are pretty simple. The tests are performed on your skin at a clinic that offers allergy testing. This determines what allergens are causing your symptoms.
Depending on how severe your allergies appear to be, your doctor may recommend immunotherapy with allergy shots to help reduce and maybe even eliminate your bodys reaction to environmental allergens.
These shots help teach your body to not be allergic and are given over the course of a couple of years until a target dose is reached. Once the right dosage has been reached, your doctor will work with you on a maintenance schedule.
Allergy shots are the most effective way of treating allergies and work better than most prescription medications. A course of allergy shots can give you long-term symptom relief that could last for 5-10 years. Many people have symptom relief the rest of their life. You can discuss the cost of allergy shots with your insurance provider.
Tips For Reducing Pollen Exposure
- Stay indoors until after midday, particularly in the pollen season and on windy days.
- Avoid going out during, or after thunderstorms, particularly when pollen counts are high.
- Wear sunglasses, carry tissues, shower when you arrive home, and rinse your eyes with water.
- Do not mow grass and stay inside when it is being mown. If mowing is unavoidable, wear a mask or take a non-drowsy antihistamine.
- Keep windows closed at home and in the car. Use recirculating air conditioning in the car.
- Do not picnic in parks or in the country during the pollen season.
- Try to plan holidays out of the pollen season or holiday at the seaside.
- If landscaping at home, research plants less likely to trigger allergic rhinitis or asthma. If you are sensitive to particular weeds or trees that are outside your bedroom window, have them removed.
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The Link Between Diet And Allergies
The role of diet in allergies was first demonstrated by Francis Pottenger, M.D., in the 1930s. Pottenger conducted experiments with multiple generations of cats, totaling more than 900 animals. He found that when the quality of their diets declinedthat is, when the cats ate processed instead of whole and raw foodshealth problems developed and grew worse with each subsequent generation. By the third generation, 90 percent of cats eating poor diets had developed allergies, as well as skin diseases and poorer quality of fur. Certain fats, vitamins and minerals are needed for normal functioning of the immune system, and sub-optimal levels of nutrients and deficiencies impair normal immunity.
Interestingly, Pottenger found that the trend toward poorer health could be reversed in the second generation, but that it took four generations of normal feeding to once again produce healthy non-allergic cats. That reversal was not possible by the third generation of cats eating a nutritionally deficient diet. Furthermore, the cats became incapable of reproducing by the fourth generation, the last.
How To Identify What Youre Allergic To
Identifying substances that you are allergic to is a critical part of allergy treatment. This way, you can avoid them in the future.
There are many different types of allergies, so ask your doctor about the best allergy tests for diagnosing your symptoms. Most often, allergists perform skin prick tests. These involve injecting tiny amounts of several common allergens to see if they provoke a reaction. Skin prick tests are different from allergy shots.
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Should I Take Or Give My Child Over
The over-the-counter allergy medications are both safe and effective. Steroid nose sprays, such as Flonase, Rhinocort and Nasacort, may help your nose and eye symptoms even if you dont have allergies. The 24-hour antihistamines, such as Claritin, Clarinex, Allegra, Zyrtec and Xyzal, will help but typically only if you have allergies. It is safe and effective to use a steroid nose spray and 24-hour antihistamine together. So, yes, even if youre not sure, it is safe to give these medications a try to see if they will help.
Immunotherapy For Allergies To Pollen
In some cases, your clinical immunology/allergy specialist may suggest allergen immunotherapy which is also known as desensitisation. It involves a series of injections, tablets, sprays or drops given under the tongue of very small doses of the allergen over a long time. This can help to improve tolerance of the pollens that are triggering your allergy and reduce symptoms.
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Symptoms Of Pollen Allergies
Everyones immune system is different and allergies to pollens can cause diverse signs and symptoms. This means that diagnosing an allergy can be difficult. If you think you may have an allergy, keeping a record of your symptoms can help you and your doctor to understand what is causing your symptoms.
What Are The Types Of Allergies And How Are They Treated
You can be allergic to a wide variety of substances including pollen, animal dander, mold and dust mites.
Seasonal allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is an allergic response to pollen. It causes inflammation and swelling of the lining of your nose and of the protective tissue of your eyes .
Symptoms include sneezing, congestion , and itchy, watery eyes, nose and mouth. Treatment options include over-the-counter and prescription oral antihistamines, anti-leukotrienes, nasal steroids, nasal antihistamines, and nasal cromolyn. In some people, allergic asthma symptoms can be caused by exposure to pollen.
Your symptoms can be reduced by avoiding pollen. Stay indoors when pollen counts are high, close your windows, and use air conditioning. Ask your healthcare provider about immunotherapy to treat pollen allergy.
Dust mites are tiny organisms that live in dust and in the fibers of household objects, such as pillows, mattresses, carpet, and upholstery. Dust mites grow in warm, humid areas.
The symptoms of dust mite allergy are similar to those of pollen allergy. To help manage dust mite allergies, try using dust mite encasements over pillows, mattresses, and box springs. Also, remove carpet, or vacuum frequently with a high-efficiency filter vacuum cleaner. Treatment may include medications to control your nasal/eye and chest symptoms. Immunotherapy may be recommended if your symptoms are not adequately controlled with avoidance methods and medications.
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Pollen Can Trigger Asthma
Pollen can directly trigger asthma and allergic rhinitis. Small particles of allergens can penetrate deep into the airways of the lung. Thunderstorms can also contribute to this:
- When pollen granules come into contact with water, starch granules are released that are small enough to be breathed into the airways, causing allergic rhinitis and asthma in some people
- People who wheeze during spring and/or summer, should see their doctor for advice.
Pollen seasons can last for months
In Australia pollen numbers are lower on the east coast where most winds come from the sea, and where there is protection from westerly winds by the Great Dividing Range. Pollen numbers are higher on the Victorian south coast because most winds are from the north carrying pollen from the northerly grasslands. In South Australia and Western Australia, the amount of pollen can vary according to the wind.
Pollination times vary with the plant variety and its location.
The principal grasses growing in the northern coastal areas are subtropical and mainly flower in January, February and March. Allergenic grasses in the southern part of Australia are mostly Northern hemisphere grasses, with the main flowering period from October to December.
Diagnosis is important
Allergic Rhinitis Is A Common And Debilitating Disease
- Allergic rhinitis affects around 18% of people in Australia and New Zealand.
- Allergic rhinitis predisposes people to more frequent sinus infections.
- People with allergic rhinitis are often tired due to poor sleep quality.
- Moderate or severe allergic rhinitis can affect general health, impair learning, increase time off work, and reduce productivity.
- Around 80% of people with asthma have allergic rhinitis, which can make asthma difficult to control.
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Allergy Shots And Other Immunotherapy
You call them allergy shots. Your doctor calls it “immunotherapy.” By either name, the goal is the same: Retrain your immune system so it doesn’t go into allergy mode.
When you get allergy shots, your doctor gives you small, gradually increasing amounts of the pollens that are causing your symptoms. Over time, your body builds up a resistance to them. The shots are a long-term commitment, likely taking 3 to 5 years. After that, your doctor will see if you still need them.
Instead of getting shots at the doctorâs office, there are also under-the-tongue tablets that you can take at home. The FDA has approved three of these products: Grastek, Oralair, and Ragwitek. They work the same way as shots. The goal is to boost your tolerance of allergy triggers.
The tablets can cause an allergic reaction in some people, so you will need to take your first one at your doctorâs office to make sure itâs safe for you. Even if you donât have a reaction, you may feel itching or burning in your mouth or lips or have stomach troubles. These problems usually go away after a few days.
American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology : âSLIT Treatment for Allergic Rhinitis Nothing to Sneeze About.â
FDA. “Itching for Allergy Relief?” News release.
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital: “Allergens: Pollen.”
National Jewish Health: “Pollen Allergy.”
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: “Pollen.”
Sanofi-aventis U.S. News release.
How Are Seasonal Allergies Treated
There are many ways to treat seasonal allergies, depending on how bothersome the symptoms are. An important part of treatment is knowing what someone is allergic to. Some kids can get relief by reducing or eliminating exposure to the allergens that bother them.
If certain seasons cause symptoms, keep the windows closed, use air conditioning instead of fresh air when possible, and stay indoors when pollen counts are high. It’s also a good idea for kids with seasonal allergies to wash their hands or shower and change clothes after playing outside.
If reducing exposure isn’t possible or doesn’t help, doctors may recommend medicines for allergy symptoms. These can include oral, nasal, and ocular antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays. If these don’t help or a child has to take multiple medicines to ease symptoms, the doctor may recommend seeing an allergist. The allergist can decide whether allergy shots could help.
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What Types Of Grasses Cause Allergy Symptoms
If you have a grass pollen allergy, you may be allergic to more than one type of grass.
There are hundreds of types of grasses, but only a few are responsible for allergy symptoms. Your geographic location may determine which grasses may be responsible for your symptoms.
The most common types of grasses that cause allergies are:
What Is Allergic Rhinitis
Nasal allergy symptoms and hay fever are referred to as allergic rhinitis. Seasonal allergic rhinitis is nasal allergies that change with the seasons because of pollen from plants . Seasonal symptoms arise during the pollinating seasons for particular plants. Because you can be allergic to more than one thing, your symptoms may get worse at different times throughout the year, or may be constant.
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Natural Remedies For Allergic Reactions
Many traditional medicine systems use herbal supplements and extracts to both treat and prevent allergic reactions, especially seasonal allergies.
Though there is little scientific evidence to support the use of most alternative or natural remedies, some people may find that some can provide relief from their symptoms.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians recommend the following natural treatments for allergies:
- Dietary changes. A low-fat diet high in complex carbohydrates, such as beans, whole grains, and vegetables may reduce allergy reactions.
- Bioflavonoids. These plant-based chemicals found in citrus fruits and blackcurrants may act as natural antihistamines. These can also be taken as supplements.
- Supplements. Flaxseed oil, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E are suggested to improve allergy symptoms.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture treatments may help some people to find relief from their symptoms.
A very severe allergic reaction can lead to a condition called anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock.
Anaphylaxis occurs when the bodys immune response to an allergen is so severe and sudden that the body goes into a state of shock.
Anaphylaxis can impact multiple organs and if left untreated lead to coma, organ failure, and death.
The early symptoms of anaphylaxis can be fairly mild and similar to those of minor to moderate allergic reactions, but they often rapidly worsen.
Symptoms unique to anaphylaxis include:
First aid for anaphylaxis includes:
Signs Your Child May Have Seasonal Allergies
Symptoms of seasonal allergies include a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, sore throat, cough, and dark circles under the eyes.
Seasonal allergies can be more than just a mild annoyance. Some of the consequences of allergies in children include:
- Fatigue and poor concentration in school due to lack of sleep
- An increase in ear and sinus infections
- Asthma exacerbations
- Behavioral issues from discomfort and lack of sleep
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Medicine As Treatment For Allergy
For children who have allergies, there are many effective medicines. These are the most often used types. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against some over-the-counter medicines for babies and young children. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider before giving your child any over-the-counter medicines.
How To Treat Allergies
This article was co-authored by Katie Marks-Cogan, MD. Dr. Katie Marks-Cogan is a board certified Pediatric & Adult Allergist at Clear Allergy based in Los Angeles, California. She is the Chief Allergist for Ready, Set, Food!, an infant dietary supplement designed to reduce the risk of childhood food allergies. She received her M.D. with honors from the University of Maryland. She then completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern University and fellowship in Allergy/Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania and CHOP.There are 18 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 188,903 times.
Allergies range from being a nuisance to dangerous medical emergencies. They occur when your body produces antibodies to fight substances that arent actually dangerous to you . This overreaction of your immune system produces the symptoms that make you miserable, such as skin irritation, a stuffy nose, digestive problems, or it can cause a life-threatening reaction. There are some things you can do at home to reduce your allergies and if that doesnt work, you might need to see a doctor.XResearch source
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