Five ways to relieve seasonal allergies naturally
Spring brings blooming trees and flowering buds. Unfortunately, if you’re one of the millions of Canadians stuck with seasonal allergies, spring also brings a runny nose, sneezing, hives, itchy eyes and a bunch of other nasty symptoms.
Seasonal allergies, also referred to as allergic rhinitis and hay fever, can wreak havoc on your daily life and so can the medications prescribed to treat it. Antihistamines, corticosteroids and other over-the-counter allergy medications have many side effects. The most common ones are drowsiness, dizziness, dry mouth, heart palpitations, and upset stomach.
There are a variety of solutions available if you’re looking for drug-free ways to get your allergies under control. Give these effective strategies a shot and stop relying on medication that makes you feel sleepy or unwell.
1) Keep the air in your home clean
You have a lot more control over the number of allergens you’re exposed to when you’re inside. Keep the air in your home clean by keeping windows and doors closed, installing high-efficiency filters on your heating and air-conditioning systems, and using a dehumidifier to ensure indoor air stays dry. You can also clean floors with a vacuum that’s equipped with a HEPA filter.
2) Wash clothing and take a shower
Small bits of pollen get stuck on you every time you go outside. Leave your shoes at the door and put your clothes in the wash when you get home to prevent these tiny particles from contaminating the air in your house. Avoid hanging your laundry outside to dry too. It’s also a good idea to take a shower before bed to get rid of the allergens on your skin and hair.
3) Flush your nasal passages
Using a neti pot is a fast and inexpensive way to relieve a stuffed nose. Found in most pharmacies and drug stores, a neti pot has a small spout and is used to flush out mucus and allergens from your nose. Fill the pot with distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water and lean over the sink to gently rinse each nostril. Feel free to do this once or twice a day.
4) Use essential oils
Essential oils are distilled from plants and have been used for centuries to treat a wide array of conditions. Diffusing essential oils like menthol, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender do a great job of unblocking nasal passages and relieving stress. Applying tea tree oil and chamomile oil can minimize the itching and swelling associated with some skin allergies as well.
5) Try acupuncture
Some evidence suggests acupuncture can help minimize allergy symptoms. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine put over 400 allergy sufferers into three test groups. The first group underwent 12 acupuncture treatments and took medication (antihistamine or oral corticosteroid) as needed. The second group got 12 fake acupuncture treatments and used medication too and the last group only received medication. After eight weeks, the group who did the real acupuncture treatments reported the most significant improvements in allergy symptoms and even saw a decrease in medication consumption.
More research needs to be done to determine acupuncture’s role in relieving allergies, however many doctors still recommend giving acupuncture a try if you’re not satisfied with your current options as it’s a natural, safe treatment with very few potential side effects. Many acupuncturists also advise you to start treatments before symptoms arise as acupuncture can be a powerful prevention tool.
Whether you’re sick of relying on antihistamines or fed up with itchy eyes, our acupuncturists can help you get the relief you need this spring. Come in for an initial consultation and treatment if you’re ready to start your recovery journey or want to stop allergies before they even happen.
Have questions about acupuncture or just unsure about it in general? You’re more than welcome to schedule a FREE Discovery Visit. Our no-obligation Discovery Visits give you the chance to discuss your health concerns, learn more about acupuncture and review personalized treatment options with one of our acupuncturists.