Depending on your personal triggers, you can experience seasonal allergies all year round, especially in Florida. Allergy symptoms are simply immune system reactions. For example, a fever is your immune system’s response to the flu when your body is fighting a virus. You get seasonal allergy symptoms and the inflammation that comes along with them because your body is producing histamines in response to irritants in the environment. Histamine is a protein that triggers allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and a scratchy throat. This article provides tips on how to alleviate allergy symptoms, and some of them may surprise you!
Know What’s in the Air
Be conscious of changes in your surroundings, so that you can avoid allergy symptoms better. If you know the allergens you’re sensitive to, monitor the weather on TV or an app on your phone; most weather reports will alert you to high pollen counts. If you don’t know what you’re allergic to, it might be worth getting tested.
The first logical line of defense against allergens is to avoid them! On bad pollen days, take off your shoes and your jacket before you walk through your house, and consider showering to wash off allergens and reduce exposure time. Remember to regularly change out the air filters in your home and ask your friends for a reputable duct cleaning company. Since all systems are different, follow the directions on your unit/filter. Consider having your air ducts cleaned after any major renovations, if significant mold is found in the home or every seven to ten years.
If you have pets that go outside, pollens will cling to their fur and will be hard to avoid. Wiping their feet when they come in from outside will help. Just be conscious of your personal hygiene and wash your hands regularly when you’re in contact with your fur babies.
Fight Seasonal Allergies with Anti-Inflammatory Foods and Supplements
Many allergy sufferers find relief by incorporating natural antihistamines into their diet. Antihistamines are substances that block histamine activity in the body. Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine. Foods high in vitamin C include: bell peppers, broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, citrus fruits, greens like kale and collards, kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes and winter squash. Naturally antibiotic foods like garlic or honey (no honey for children under a year) can also help.
The right supplements both decrease your allergic response to irritants in the environment and support your immune system during allergy season. They decrease inflammation which makes the allergic response easier on your body when it responds to your environment.
Bee pollen, bromelain (an enzyme found in pineapples) and quercetin are natural antihistamines. There are many foods that naturally contain quercetin, including apples, berries, black tea, broccoli, grapes, ginkgo biloba, green tea, peppers, red onions and red wine. However, it is more efficient to take quercetin in capsule form for therapeutic purposes.
Chiropractic Care for Seasonal Allergies? Yes!
Chiropractic care provides relief for seasonal allergies, especially in children. How is that? Well, consider that everything that we ever feel or taste, every movement we make, every unconscious bodily function like digestion and breathing—are all facilitated by our nervous system. When the nervous system is stressed, it’s a lot harder for the body to do those things efficiently and to stay well. That’s why when stressed, we feel tired and come down with colds more easily.
Every nerve in the body exits our spine and wraps around the skin and organs. In other words, everything in your body is “wired” through the spine. Chiropractic adjustments remove interference as your nerves fire information throughout your body. Therefore, being in alignment alleviates stress on the body and facilitates an increase in nervous system activity and immune function. As a result, chiropractic adjustments improve neurological health and help boost your immune system.
Neti Pot and Salt Therapy for Seasonal Allergies
Using a neti pot with a saline (salt) solution removes all the pollen and dander that build up and irritate the inside of your nasal cavity, throat and mucous membranes. It’s a little tricky at first to learn how to use a neti pot, but once you do, it’s a quick and easy home remedy. Click here to see a demonstration video.
A salt therapy session (conducted in a salt room) delivers greater benefit because you’re breathing salt particles through your respiratory system. The salt particles line your nasal passages and respiratory tract—during the therapy session and afterwards.
Facial Tapping and Jarring
Facial tapping is a percussive impulse on your sinus cavities, which helps loosen up phlegm and mucus and can support sinus drainage as well. Jarring involves touching portions of your skull and moving them against each other. This is helpful for allergies because it mobilizes the sinuses, which helps clear out the sinus cavities and allow for proper drainage. See a 2-minute video demonstrating both techniques here.
After these treatments, don’t be surprised if you have a bit of a cough, more mucus or a runny nose; it’s not a worsening of symptoms, it’s your body pushing all the allergens out.
Chiropractic Helps Seasonal Ear Infections
Irritation or inflammation in your throat or sinus cavities can affect the Eustachian tubes in your ears and cause ear infections. Compared to an adult, a child’s Eustachian tubes are smaller, narrower and are positioned more horizontally in the ear, which means water does not drain out as easily. This makes kids more prone to swimmer’s ear and seasonal ear infections. Read our article that talks about ear infections—and when antibiotics are needed.
The bottom of your skull and the top of your spine are also closely connected to your ear canals. When chiropractors check the top bone in your spine, they usually feel right behind the ears due to their proximity. Chiropractors can perform upper cervical (top of the neck) and cranial adjustments to help keep Eustachian tubes and sinuses clear and encourage drainage. They may do what feels like a light massage around the ears to stimulate the Eustachian tubes and gently contact the face and head to support sinus drainage.
Swimmer’s Ear Tips
When your kids go swimming, remember that water will sit in their ears, so dry around their ears with a towel and get them to tip their head and rub their ears to help get all the water out. You can also use a blow dryer on the low cool setting and held about 6 inches away from the ear to help dry the ear canal. Do not use cotton swabs, as they are known to strip the skin of necessary oil which can cause more problems. If you spot your kids rubbing or tugging at their ears or redness around the opening of the ear canal, you can try a drop of colloidal silver or over-the-counter swimmer’s ear drops (or see our recipe below). Don’t use the drops if your child has ear tubes or has pus coming from the ear. In those instances, visit your primary care physician.
Recipe to Prevent Swimmer’s Ear
When combined, vinegar and rubbing alcohol may prohibit the growth of bacteria in the outer ear and thereby reduce the risk of swimmer’s ear. To use, mix one part white vinegar with one part rubbing alcohol. Before and after swimming, pour one teaspoon of this solution into each ear and then allow it to drain back out. Do not use if the eardrum is punctured.
We hope these tips help you and your family alleviate seasonal allergies and enjoy the outdoors this summer!
Special thanks to Dr. Briatta Buntjer, DC for her help with this article. Dr. Bri is a new neighbor to CIPC and The Salt Room Longwood. Her practice, BB Chiropractic, is located in our building. She treats all ages, and specializes in pediatrics, prenatal care, and family wellness!
Call 407-308-2979 for appointments. Ask about her new patient specials and family discounts!
Follow her Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/bbchiro.fl
Why salt therapy helps seasonal allergies:
Chiropractic for ear infections: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8728460/
Chiropractic for sinus issues:
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