First off, I wanted to start by saying that if your allergy symptoms are severe, then please make an appointment with an allergist if you are able. I am not a doctor and cannot provide medical advice, and I recommend seeking a professional to truly get your symptoms under control.
There are indeed ways to lessen your symptoms through more natural means, but it is definitely still a good idea to use this as a supplement and to consider giving allergy shots a try if you and your doctor deem it necessary. I did it, and it worked wonders for me.
That being said: As a lifelong allergy sufferer I have learned a lot along the way, and I will be sharing that with you below! Let me start by giving a little overview of what allergies are, and then we will discuss symptoms, natural as well as medical remedies, why diet is extremely important, and then a little bit more about my personal journey. By the end of this post hopefully you will have a much better idea of which direction to take to knock down your allergy symptoms once and for all!
What are allergies?
Allergies affect almost 50 million people in the United States. This is a staggering amount and the enemies that are ragweed, dust mites, and pet dander are not going anywhere. In fact, the prevalence of allergies is on the rise and it shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
There are many factors that might stand to take the blame, such as climate changes, dietary trends, or even the fact that we might be Too Clean and are not giving our bodies the chance to fight off certain allergens and bacteria. It could be true that reaching for that bottle of hand sanitizer every 45 seconds might actually be doing more harm than good!
According to Medical News Today–
“Allergies are hypersensitive immune responses to substances that either enter or come in contact with the body, such as pet dander, pollen or bee venom. A substance that causes an allergic reaction is called an “allergen”. Allergens can be found in food, drinks or the environment.”
Allergens are everywhere, and you will be constantly flooded with the potential for an attack since they exist all around us. They exist indoors in the form of pet dander, dust mites, and mold, and they exist outdoors in the form of ragweed and pollen. Each specific allergen may trigger a different response from each specific individual.
For example, pet dander makes my eyes really itchy, and pollen causes a runny nose. It depends on the specific reaction that is taking place in your body which determines what allergy symptoms you are going to have to deal with.
Fortunately, there are tests that can be done to determine what exactly you are allergic to, but it definitely also helps to begin to notice things for yourself, and be able to report these to your allergist if you do decide to see one.
You might be lucky and have no adverse reactions to most allergens, but as I stated above, quite a few people are walking around with an allergy to something! It will be increasingly difficult to get away scott free and not be affected, at least partially, by allergies.
More and more people are finding their days full of the following allergy symptoms:
- Itchy eyes
- Postnasal drip
- Tenderness of the face
- Discolored nasal discharge
- Nasal congestion
- Pain in the teeth (Caused by Sinus Pressure)
- Coughing (consistent or more severe)
These symptoms can be managed in several different ways and this article will discuss this further down below. Be rest assured that there is hope! And that you can indeed beat, or at the very least, manage your current symptoms. I say this with confidence because I personally struggle with severe seasonal allergies, and I have been able to successfully combat my symptoms.
Natural Home Remedies For Allergies
Try the following home remedies to ease seasonal allergies. Diet is so important to all facets of life, and it is no different with allergies. In order to truly bridge the gap and begin to control your allergy symptoms, you would do well to consider some or all of the small modifications below.
- Sip on a cup of green tea in order to ease sneezing and sore throat. Green tea has natural antihistamines and this is a great way to boost your bodies personal immune system.
- Eat a spoonful of natural, local honey each day. Honey is also high in antihistamines, and if you choose a local brand, you can begin to see the effects on your allergies if you are allergic to pollen.
- Drink plenty of water to hydrate your system and to ease the burden on your sinuses by clearing them out.
- Utilize a netting pot to clear your sinuses and nasal passages. You can also stand over a boiling pot of water with a rag over your head. You might look ridiculous, but nothing will clear you up faster!
- Use a humidifier to help with wintertime dryness. This can help ease airways and help you to breathe easier, but we wary of the fact that humidifiers cause extra dust to build up, so be vigilant when you are cleaning!
- Make yourself a delicious smoothie that has plenty of fruit such as strawberries and blueberries that are high in antioxidants and vitamins. This will give your body an extra boost in its fight against allergens.
- Go for a run or walk outside. Even if your symptoms come from outdoor allergies, it is always a good idea to get up and get moving and give your body a better chance to fight the allergens!
Other Ways to Control Allergy Symptoms
There are also other less-than-natural ways to help with allergy symptoms. The list below includes non-prescription items, i’ll state it again, I am not a doctor and these are simply suggestions, but they have worked for me!
- Antihistamines such as Zyrtec, Claritin, and Allegra are good ways to control symptoms. I personally use Allegra after Zyrtec gave me a bad skin reaction, but it is up to you to figure out which one would work best for you.
- Over the counter nasal sprays can be good when you are in a pinch, but it is not a good idea to use these as a long term solution as side effects can ensue.
- Decongestants can be used to control congestion and reduce pain associated with sinus headaches, but again, these are not a long term solution as you can become addicted.
- Cough drops can do much more than just clear a throat. They are especially good at clearing up nasal passages with that good ol’ menthol. Use whenever necessary to ease your symptoms.
- For more severe cases, Allergy Shots might be the way to go. These shots are sort of like shots you might get for measles or chicken pox, except that it is not a one time thing. At first you will be going to the doc once a week to receive the immunotherapy and this is definitely a major commitment. Only after about 6 months will the time between shots start to decrease, but even then you can count on going to see your allergist at least once a month.
Diet is key to controlling allergy symptoms
As I stated before, the more you can work your diet to edge toward the natural types of foods (fruits, nuts, berries, etc.) the more you will start to see symptoms diminish. Drink more tea, add honey to your diet, and avoid greasy, high fat, and high carb foods. This will help you to be able to take control of your seasonal allergies, as well as avoid some potential allergic reactions to certain foods.
I wont go into food allergies in much depth but it is even true that some food allergies can Prevent You From Losing Weight. If your body is reacting poorly to certain foods, try to eliminate those foods one by one until you have figured out which one is the culprit.
Starting a natural high fiber diet is a great way to go and it will definitely lead you on the right path as far as what foods to choose. See my article on How to Start and Maintain a High Fiber Diet for more info on this. Be wary of food allergies in this, as a lot of high fiber foods are not gluten free. There is a Workaround for those with gluten intolerance, but it good to be conscious of it.
A Brief View of My Own Personal Struggle
I have had a long battle with allergies that is now finally slowing. I am currently getting shots, taking Allegra as needed, and working to keep my diet as nutritional as possible. I still have days where I get a runny nose, and other days that I have a sinus headache. However, compared to where I was before (a blubbering sneezy mess) I am much better off. I am glad that I am getting allergy shots and I am overjoyed by the difference they have made on my life.
Final thoughts on Allergies
Remember the importance of taking care of yourself physically and mentally in order to reduce symptoms of allergies. Get outside, eat healthy, and avoid stress, and your health will be much improved.
What about you? Do you struggle with allergies? Let me know in the comments below, and feel free to ask any questions you might have!
As always, thanks for reading!