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Seasonal Allergies can be a pain. The south is notorious for seasonal allergies.  We, southerners, pay for the beautiful flowers, trees and bushes that bloom. 

A seasonal allergy is actually an allergic reaction to a trigger that is typically only present for part of the year, such as spring or fall. This type of allergy refers to a pollen allergy, such as trees, weeds and grasses. Perennial allergies, on the other hand, are usually present year-round, and include allergens such as pet dander and house dust mite. Molds can be a seasonal or perennial allergy trigger.

Symptoms of seasonal allergies include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itching of the nose, post-nasal drip, itching and water eyes.  As an allergy sufferer, you may experience one or all of the symptoms.  SO, what do you do, besides move to a different part of the country?

I am a firm believer in using the most natural remedies first.  So, I look for treatments with the smallest amount of risk.  Here are some natural ways to safely combat allergies:

1) The Neti Pot – this is my #1 favorite recommendation for seasonal allergies.  The Neti pot is a ceramic pot that looks like a cross between a small teapot and Aladdin’s magic lamp. Although nasal irrigation using the Neti pot has been around for centuries, its use is on the rise in the U.S., thanks to an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show and a fair amount of news coverage. The Neti pot originally comes from the Ayurvedic/yoga medical tradition. Basically, the Neti Pot works by thining sinus mucus and helps flush it out of the nasal passages.

Here is a quick video on the Neti Pot use: http://www.neilmed.com/usa/use_np.php

Using the Neti Pot takes a little practice, but I have many patients young and old that use it daily with great relief from seasonal allergies.

2) Eucalyptus is a favorite remedy for symptomatic treatment of seasonal allergies. The eucalyptus tree produces leaves rich in a natural aromatic oil that helps to open clogged sinuses and relieve congestion. It can also help to curb runny nose and thus alleviate some of the suffering caused by hay fever. One convenient way to employ the decongesting power of eucalyptus is with a natural inhaler. The Swiss company Olbas makes an inhaler that contains essential oils of eucalyptus, along with other aromatic, sinus-opening oils such as peppermint, cajeput, wintergreen, juniper berry and clove.

3) Honey: There is little research to back up this theory – but basically no danger in the consumption of honey.  It is thought that eating local honey (produced near where you live) really works. The bees eat the pollen that’s in your region of the country, then they produce the honey and you consume that, so it’s kind of like a mini allergy shot.  Again, not really any research to back this up, but no danger in trying it.

4) Air Purifier with HEPA Filter: Using a HEPA filter—especially in the bedroom—is the best way to remove spores and pollen from the air in your home.

Obviously, if the above natural remedies do not work, then prescription medications may be the best option for you.  It is important to talk to your health care provider, to decide the right medication for you.  Options include: oral medications, eye drops, allergy injections, as well as, inhaled orally or inhaled nasally preparations.

It is important to undergo allergy testing is you experience severe allergies.  This entails small pin-pricks on the back and monitoring for a specified amount of time to see what you react to.  Basically, this is injecting a small amount of allergen into your skin, and monitoring your bodies reaction to it.  It is important to know that sometimes you will test negative for this type of testing and still have allergies. How can this be?  Well, you are only tested for a number of allergens.  They are the most common allergens, present in your region.  You may be allergic to something not tested.  Therefore, a trial of allergy medication may be appropriate to see if it helps.

Allergies can be very frustrating for the sufferer, and their loved ones.  Yet, this is a very treatable disorder.  Consider seeing an allergy specialist if your symptoms persist.

Oh and by the way, allergies don’t cause fever.  If you develop a fever, see your health care provider!

Happy Fall Ya’ll!!!