With the blooming of another spring (even though it’s late this year), many of us can expect itchy eyes, postnasal drip, sneezing, and itchy noses. Allergies affect up to 26% of adults, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. The symptoms don’t just cause discomfort, but can also come with fatigue, brain fog, headaches, and even tooth pain which can make day to day life uncomfortable.
Let’s look at options to blunt the effects of allergies on our lives:
- Use HEPA filters in your appliances like your vacuum, air conditioning, and air purifier.
- Wear a mask when outside. Masks can help decrease the ability of pollen to contact your nose and lungs which can decrease allergy symptoms. Bonus points for washing your face, hair, or body after being outside as well.
- Use natural cleaners to avoid irritating your sinuses, lungs, and eyes further.
- Reduce eating your foods sensitivities and pro-inflammatory foods.
Over the Counter Options
- Natural Options
- Look for ingredients like stinging nettle, NAC, vitamin C, quercitin to help with allergies.
- You can shop in Fullscript for natural options such as:
- AllQlear – this egg-based supplement (not ok for egg allergies and vegans) is a delicious chewable that can help decrease inflammation in the respiratory tract.
- D-Hist – we call this one “natural Benadryl.”
- Aller-C – A blend of vitamin C, quercetin, and bromelain all help to stabilize mast cells (allergy cells) and decrease histamine.
- Xlear nasal spray – this has xylitol and grapefruit seed extract to prohibit adherence of pollen and allergens to the nasal mucosa.
- Nasal Rinses – rinsing sinuses with saline solution will help to decrease symptoms of allergies. Look for NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit available at most drug stores.
- Over The Counter Medications
- Certain anti histamines are safer in the long term than others. Some medications, like Benadryl, have been found to have a high anticholinergic burden score, which can contribute to risk of dementia later in life (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2736353). See how your OTC antihistamine stacks up here: https://www.acbcalc.com/
Desensitization Prescription Options:
- Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)
- For severe allergies, BNHC can prescribe a medication called sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). This therapy is similar to allergy shots in that we help your immune system to become tolerant to ever increasing amounts of the allergen. We can tailor this prescription to your individual allergens, which we test through a blood test (no itchy skin scratch test here!). For more information look at https://www.allergychoices.com/ and you can schedule with Dr. Michaela Falkner if you’re interested!