Spring is upon us and with the warming of the weather we will soon start to see the trees, flowers and grasses of the Pacific Northwest come alive. For some of us, this means the beginning of allergy season. Getting a head start on preventing allergies can make this time more manageable for allergy suffers. Preparing for allergy season is a two pronged approach: readying your environment and readying your body.
Keeping our exposure to allergens to a minimal level can be a great place to start combating seasonal allergies. This involves cleaning air filters (home, car cabin filters, etc), keeping dust down in the home, utilizing a HEPA filter in the bedroom at night and in your vacuum cleaner. Additionally you can keep an eye on the local forecast of pollen counts (http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/allergies/weather/USOR0275). Other tips to reduce pollen exposure include staying indoors on dry windy days and changing your clothes and showering after being outdoors on a pollen heavy day. Pollen counts are highest in the morning and lowest after a good rain. Use these facts to plan accordingly.
Supporting the body during allergy season takes a slightly more sophisticated approach. Washing the nasal passages with a neti pot can be an effective prevention measure. Additionally, reducing the overall level of inflammation in the body can reduce the severity of your symptoms, or even eliminate them all together. Allergies may also be a sign of liver stagnation or gastrointestinal imbalance; talk to your naturopathic physician about how this may be part of your health picture.