Seasonal allergies in the Phoenix area are in full swing and will continue for the remainder of April and into May, keeping physicians and acupuncturists busy.
Allergies attack the immune system, which can weaken a patient’s resistance to other ailments. Some of the symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing watery eyes, headache, face (sinus) ache, earache, and exhaustion. People with Asthma are particularly at risk since allergies can bring on an asthma attack. But, there are ways to reduce allergy symptoms.
Clean the air
Cleaning the air itself can help reduce pollen count inside the home. Someone in the house (not the allergy sufferer) should regularly run a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Place an air filter with a HEPA filter in the bedroom. And the HVAC filter should be changed periodically.
It should be noted that, while there are HEPA filters for HVAC units which are better able to control the amount of pollen in the air, these can also make it difficult for the unit to run effectively. The value of the efficiency lost is not worth the cost of a portable air filter, so the two should be used in conjunction, instead.
Keep pollen at bay
The most immediate thing a person with seasonal allergies can do it stay away from the pollen, itself, including not going outdoors in the early morning and late afternoon. On days when the pollen count is extremely high, such as windy days, it’s better not to go out at all.
When an allergy sufferer does have to go out, a mask or Vaseline around the nose will help filter out the pollen. When returning home, it’s best to take off shoes at the door, change clothes and wash the pollen from the hair and face.
A dust-proof mattress cover and pillow cover should be used, and the pillowcase should be changed every day during peak season.
Some people obtain significant relief with a Neti pot, but those who have chronic infections should avoid using one. Although a saline wash will rid the nasal passages of discharge, it will also remove the anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral agents.
Avoid or prevent triggers
When the pollen count starts to rise is the time to take allergy meds, before it reaches its peak. Avoid milk and sugar, including alcohol, which can trigger an allergy attack, and eat plenty of foods rich in omega-3. Also, avoid foods which you’re allergic to as these can exacerbate hay fever symptoms.
Activities to avoid
An allergy sufferer should not sweep, dust, vacuum, mow grass, rake or pull weeds, smoke, use a clothesline (pollen settles on laundry), or allow pets indoors without someone wiping them off first.
While symptoms seem annoying, allergies can trigger more severe ailments, such as asthma, ear infections, bronchial conditions, and chronic sinusitis.
Acupuncture has been shown to be extremely useful in reducing seasonal allergy symptoms. It often produces immediate relief. Some patients also experience relief from acupuncture even when allergy medications or shots have been ineffective. Used concurrently with medications, reduction, and avoidance of pollen, and other treatments, a patient can expect to obtain substantial relief.