I thought Spring was the time for allergies, but we recently moved to the Benton County area and me and my kids are suffering from major sneezing and watery eyes. Is this common for the area?
Sneezy in Camden
Dear Sneezy in Camden,
As the days become shorter and the weather cools down, a new crop of allergy symptoms can arise, turning the autumn season into one marked by sneezing, scratchy throats and itchy eyes. Medications can alleviate such symptoms, but allergy sufferers may want to investigate some natural ways to beat allergies.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), ragweed is one of the more common triggers of autumnal allergies. Ragweed contributes to “hay fever,” which is a term to describe allergic rhinitis that occurs as a symptom of ragweed pollen in the air. Ragweed releases pollen in mid-August, and it can continue to be problematic until a deep freeze arrives.
Other sources of fall allergies include leaf mold and pollen that is present on fallen leaves. This gets circulated when people begin to rake or blow fallen leaves. Classroom pets and chalk dust in schools (although chalkboards are largely a thing of the past) are other autumn allergens.
The good news is that many natural remedies work just as effectively as over-the-counter medications in regard to combatting ragweed and pollen problems. According to ACAAI , here’s how to beat the fall allergy blues.
• Stay away from pollen. Stay away from pollen and prevent it from being tracked indoors. Remove shoes when walking through the door. Take off clothes worn outside and launder them promptly, showering to wash pollen off of the body. Use an air conditioner or keep windows closed when the pollen count is high.
• Increase omega-3 fatty acids. It is well documented that fatty acids are good for brain health and cardiovascular well-being. But these acids also may help with allergies. A German study linked foods high in omega-3 fatty acids with the ability to fight inflammation, which is a hallmark of allergy suffering. Foods that are high in fatty acids include walnuts, flax, eggs, and cold-water fatty fish.
• Rinse off pollen. Use a mild cleanser to rinse the eyelids and eyelashes of pollen, as this is where it tends to congregate after being outdoors. Use saline spray to clear nasal passages of excess pollen as well.
• Take natural supplements. A study published in the journal Clinical and Experimental Allergy found participants who used tablets of the herb butterbar showed significant allergy relief after only one week. Select herbs from reputable manufacturers who certify them.
• Use eucalyptus oil. This oil is great to have in the house to help clear up sinuses and provide nasal congestion relief. Mix a small amount with coconut oil and rub onto the chest. There also is some evidence that adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to cleansing products can help kill dust mites around the house.
• Wear a mask. When doing housework or yard work, wear a mask to reduce the inhalation of specific allergens.
Avoid seasonal allergies by exploring natural ways to find prevention or relief of symptoms.
Of course, I am not a doctor and have no idea if these home remedies work. These were just recommendations from those who study allergies. Hope this helps!