SPRING has arrived, the birds are chirping, the weather is warmer and the day welcomes you with Sunshine and a fresh aroma in the air.
It is also the time of the year when the pollen levels are at their highest and many people will experience debilitating symptoms associated with Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (Hayfever). Symptoms may include itchy, watery, irritated and inflamed eyes, accompanied by frequent sneezing, coughing, wheezing and tightness in the chest.
Pollen is amongst one of the most common environmental allergens to trigger off an allergic reaction in Spring. The weather conditions are favourable and many people’s symptoms will range from mild to moderate in severity.
In 2014-2015, 1 in 4 people, that’s 4.5 million people in Australia suffered from Allergic Rhinitis (Hayfever) with the average age being between 15-59 years old. Community pharmacies reported spending up to $226.8 million in 2010 on medications commonly used to treat allergic rhinitis.
Here at Nature’s Sunshine we like to adopt a systemic and preventable approach in preparing the immune system for the season and helping minimise the symptoms associated with Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (Hayfever).
PART I – Allergy Season (Lifestyle and Nutritional approach)
Nutritionally- it may be useful to avoid and eliminate common trigger foods to assist in minimising other forms of allergies. These include gluten, casein (dairy), soy, eggs, nuts, corn, alcohol, which can all contribute to increase mucous production.
- It can be a challenge to avoid airborne allergens, however, be informed of the peak times for pollens and pollution counts and avoid (if you can) going out during these times. The weather zone website http://www.weatherzone.com.au/pollen-index/ provide high allergy alert forecast.
- Anti-allergy devices such as HEPA (high efficiency particulate arresting) air purifiers can help remove pollen and mould spores in the air at home. Ensure filters are cleaned regularly.
- Remove carpets, rugs and other surfaces that collect allergens in the home.
- Avoid dogs and cats (if possible) to minimise contact with animal dander. If you have pets at home, brush and wash pets, as well as their beddings frequently.
- Wash before going to bed to reduce pollens collected on clothes and skin.