You think you’ve caught a cold- a runny nose, itchy throat, sneezing. Well the season’s changing and it could be an allergy. Allergies are a health problem for millions of people and holistic health may be an option for treatment.
About 6 to 8% of Canadians have had one or more allergic reactions, that’s about 1 of every 13 Canadians according to Asthma Canada.
Allergies can be unpredictable. Maybe you had them when you were a child, then outgrew it or it comes back repeatedly when seasons change.
Allergies and Our Immune System
Our immune system is such a beautiful network. The purpose of the immune system is to defend our bodies from foreign substances such as virus or pathogens. With the allergy season upon us, these foreign substances include ragweed, mold and even dust mites.
Allergic reactions begin in your immune system. When a harmless substance is introduced to a person who is allergic to that substance, the immune system “reacts” by producing antibodies that “attack” the allergen. This allergic reaction is what can cause the wheezing, itching, runny nose, watery or itchy eyes, and other symptoms.
How to Survive the Allergy Season
Now that you understand allergies and your immune system, it’s time you understand how to survive the allergy season.
- Limit your exposure to allergens – The first way to deal with your allergy is to limit your exposure to allergens.
- During the pollen season, try to keep all your doors and windows shut
- Keep the vent of the air conditioner closed to outside
- Pollen counts are higher on dry, windy days so make sure to avoid stepping out
- Avoid grass cutting if grass pollen or mould is your allergen
- Keep your meds handy – For complete relief from the symptoms you would need medication so visit your allergy doctor to get a prescription ready before the season changes.
- Work on the mind/body connection – Visual images have been found to trigger an allergic reaction demonstrating that our mind can play a role in intensifying or settling allergies. It is the process of re-educating the immune system. Your holistic health practitioner might help you work around through a mind-body process calling upon memories when you were earlier able to tolerate the allergen.
- Wear a mask – Well, everybody is wearing it these days to keep away the virus and it’ll help you keep away the allergen too.
- Consider alternative treatments for allergies – Treatments such as acupuncture, aromatherapy might help you if not get rid of the allergy but lessen the symptoms and issues that come with your allergy.
- Eat healthy and fresh – Eating fresh and local, a healthy diet is always good for our system and researchers are trying to find a link between healthy food and allergies.
- Stay hydrated – Water, juice, tea, soup, drink up as the extra liquid can thin the mucus in your nasal passage relieving you of the blockage.
- Keep your surroundings clean – One of the best ways to avoid indoor allergens is to keep your surroundings clean and don’t go overboard with harsh chemicals as they can aggravate the symptoms. Instead use natural cleaners.
- Know your triggers – Do you where the problem lies? Get in touch with your holistic health expert to work around your triggers, then plan on working how to avoid them.
When followed by a licensed holistic health practitioner, for most people, ways to address your allergies brings a huge relief in addition to taking on some of the recommendations noted above.