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Seasonal Allergies

  Pollen is in the air and many of us are preparing for the onslaught of itchy eyes, sneezing and runny noses that come with seasonal allergies.  According to the Center for Disease Control, seasonal allergies, also known as hayfever or allergic rhinitis, was diagnosed in 17.6 million  people in the United States last year. Seasonal allergies are a short-term inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nasal passages which is caused by airborne pollens from trees, grasses, flowers, and weeds. Allergy season in the U.S. can start as early as February in southern states and May in the midwest. As mentioned above, seasonal allergies have a host of debilitating symptoms, and demand  attention and care so you can enjoy this beautiful time of year. can be worrying, especially for people who are otherwise healthy and unused to experiencing sudden debilitating symptoms. If left unchecked, seasonal allergies can often turn an otherwise enjoyable time of year for many into misery.There are many 'standard procedures' for controlling the symptoms and recently natural remedies have proved themselves invaluable for many people.
  • Avoid triggers. When possible, stay inside when pollen counts are at their highest. Pollen count usually is at its highest the morning hours and remains high during the afternoon.Wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes!
  • Minimize indoor risks. If possible, keep windows closed during high pollen count periods. If you use an air conditioner, be sure to use a high quality filter.  Vacuuming and dusting will help eliminate any pollen that has entered the home, when dusting, use a damp cloth that will capture the pollen.
  • Probiotics. In allergies, the immune system may react too strongly to a stimuli -- such as pollen. New research has indicated that the presence of beneficial bacteria in the gut with may reduce risks for allergies.
  • Nettle is a folk remedy for the sneezing, itching, and swelling associated with allergies. It contains quercetin, which inhibits the release of histamine. One study found that the herb was at least moderately effective in reducing allergy symptoms for more than half of those who took nettle .
  • Butterbur. In a study published by the British Medical Journal, a group of Swiss researchers found that just tablet of butterbur -- an herbal shrub that grows in wet, marshy ground --taken four times daily is as effective as a popular antihistamine drug to control symptoms of hay fever.
Hayfever sufferers all have individual allergic responses, some people will be able to cope handle their allergies with over-the-counter medication, natural remedies, and limiting their exposure to allergens. Others may need the care of a health care professional. If you do have concerns or your methods of dealing with hayfever is not enough, see your a health care provider for assistance. May and June are beautiful months. We all deserve to enjoy them.

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