It’s that time of year when seasonal allergies may emerge. We all know the symptoms including sneezing, runny nose and watery eyes. And we know some of the triggers for these symptoms, like pollens in the air.
But why do some of us experience these symptoms and others not? Many factors play a roll including immune response, histamine regulation, prostaglandin metabolism and mucous membrane health.
Ideally, in any season, our immune systems are functioning optimally. Seasonal allergies, in particular, are a form of hypersensitivity reaction of the immune system. This is when the immune system responds in an exaggerated way to typically harmless environmental allergens like pollens. This reaction results in an inflammatory response and a release of chemicals including histamine, prostaglandins and leukotriene.
This release of chemicals triggers all the familiar symptoms like runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. By supporting and optimizing our immune systems, we can better weather the seasonal changes without this exaggerated response.
And if allergy season arises and symptoms do appear there are many lifestyle modifications we can make to help lessens the severity of the symptoms. First off, check with your local news station or online sources to assess pollen levels in your area. During peak pollen times, (usually midday and afternoon), try staying indoors, close your car windows when driving, and shower and change your clothes after pollen exposure.
Also try rinsing your eyes and nose with cool water after spending time outdoors and don’t hang your clothes out to dry after washing. And if you’re on gardening and lawn mowing duty, try to delegate these tasks at least during the peak times and seasons that most affect you.
So by boosting your immune strength and following these simple guidelines you’ll be able to breeze through allergy season like a champ!
Author: Julie Dennis | Source Naturals
Julie has been involved in natural health for most of her life. She’s worked in health food stores since she was 15, is a graduate of Michael Tierra’s East West School of herbology, and currently travels all over the US contributing her herbal wisdom and dynamic teaching skills to numerous companies and publications including The American Botanical Council’s Clinical Guide to Herbs. She has also contributed to Nutraceuticals World, Vitamin Industry Executive, Weleda’s WE Magazine and Vitamin Retailer. She also provided editorial support for books including, “The Handbook of Clinically Tested Herbal Products,” as well as “Between Species: Celebrating the Dolphin-Human Bond,” Sierra Club Books and “Dolphin Mysteries: Unlocking the Secrets of Communication,” Yale University Press.