Blooming flowers, fresh-cut grass, warm, sunny, breezy days – these are the signs of spring Oregonians look forward to when winter ends. We can’t wait to get outside and do all the outdoor activities we love … until those other signs of spring have sprung: itchy and watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing. Seasonal allergies are in full swing. Gwendolyn Weddle, Market of Choice Whole Health Manager, offers some tips to ease and manage symptoms.
- See that thick layer of pollen coating your car? Pollen can also stick to other surfaces, like your skin, hair and clothing, triggering major seasonal allergy symptoms. As soon as you return inside, take a shower to wash off pollen. Change your clothing, too.
- Itchy, watery eyes bothering you? Eyeglasses and allergy-sensitive eyes don’t mix. Rinse your glasses in hot water throughout the day to wash off any accumulated pollen. A cool washcloth applied to the eyes can help, too. Use safe, homeopathic eye drops for instant relief.
- The nose knows. Nasal congestion can lead to sinus headaches, so rinsing your sinuses is a good idea. Consider using a Neti-Pot, a traditional sinus rinsing technique, to flush out harmful allergens.
- Stay indoors. It may be sunny and windy, the perfect day to fly a kite, but for seasonal allergy sufferers it’s best to stay indoors on dry, windy days. Avoid outdoor activity in the morning, when pollen counts are high.
- Windows open or closed? It may be tempting to open the windows and let in some fresh spring air, but you’ll also be letting in pollen. Keep windows closed during allergy season.
- Yardwork piling up? If you can’t ask someone else to do your yardwork for you, wear a mask to reduce your exposure to pollen while working outside.
- Can supplements help? Research suggests that quercetin, found in many plants and foods, can halt the body’s production of histamines that cause seasonal allergy symptoms. Quercetin is available as an herbal supplement. There are also several natural remedies available over the counter to help ease allergy symptoms.
Seasonal allergies are a regular part of the spring and early summer seasons for many Oregonians, but by implementing ways to cope with and manage symptoms, you can still enjoy the season’s bright spots. Visit your Market and talk with one of our Whole Health experts about our many seasonal allergy remedies.
Sources and suggested links:
OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital
University of Oregon University Health Services
The Mayo Clinic
The National Institutes of Health
The National Center for Biotechnology Information
National University of Natural Medicine