Allergy season is starting earlier, lasting longer and affecting more people. We have global warming to thank for this, according to experts, who say the increased amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes plants to grow faster, longer and produce more pollen.
The growing season has increased by 10-14 days over the past 20 years. The result is approximately 46 percent of the U.S. population is affected by seasonal allergies.
Not everyone with allergies needs to see the doctor or take medications. Some can get relief with simple remedies that can help reduce some of the discomfort caused by allergies. Here are some tried and found effective by some allergy sufferers.
Gobble up some yogurt or probiotics
Allergy sufferers who consumed good bacteria, called Lactobacillus casei, reacted less to pollen and other allergens, according to a study reported in the journal of “Clinical and Experimental Allergy.” Get your daily dose of L. casei by eating probiotic yogurt or downing some probiotic supplements.
Exercise to ease allergy congestion
During a workout, nasal congestion lessens because your body directs blood flow to the parts of your body that are being exercised rather than to your nose. You will experience less nasal congestion which can last several hours post-workout.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is touted as a remedy for all kinds of ailments but some have found it effective for allergies. The best kind to use is organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar.
Recommended amounts range from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar mixed in a glass of water. Drink the mixture one to three times a day but you should see improvement after 2-3 days. If not, the remedy doesn’t work for you.
Make the mixture more palatable by adding 1 tsp. honey or mixing the vinegar in tea or apple juice. Add ¼ tsp. baking soda if the vinegar upsets your stomach.
Stock up on citrus fruits, especially lemon and lime, and start eating. Lime is your best bet as it contains more natural antihistamines that can help relieve symptoms than any other citrus fruit. Try sucking on a wedge of lime and your allergies may clear up, according to some individuals.
Lemons will work almost as well and can be used to make a lemonade drink to gulp down first thing in the morning. Mix lemon juice, water and honey.
If citrus fruit is not your thing, try Vitamin C supplements. Some experts recommend a maintenance dose of 2,000 mg. daily.
Petroleum jelly in each nostril
Don’t try this if you want to impress your date but some get relief by dabbing petroleum jelly just inside of the nostrils where it will trap pollens before it gets in the nasal passages. It also works dabbed on the eyelashes to keep pollens out of the eyes.
Water in all forms
Water brings relief in all kinds of ways. A seaside getaway would be everyone’s dream remedy but you might have to resort to splashing cold water on your face or eyes to wash away pollens. Cold compresses can relieve eye irritation.
Sucking on an ice cube at the back of the mouth or throat can relieve irritation and calm sneezing. Place the ice cube under the tongue as another strategy.
Don’t forget using warm water for nasal irrigation either with a neti pot, bulb syringe or other gadget.