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Health Tip!  Easy Tip to Decrease Allergy Symptoms


Maybe it’s just me, but I swear I don’t think have seen as much pollen in all my days as I have this year in North Carolina!  Seriously, this year is no joke!  Pollen is EVERYWHERE!  Some people experience significant reactions to the pollen, while others do not. 


Seasonal pollen allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, occur when the body's immune system overreacts to pollen from trees, grasses, or weeds. These allergies are most common during specific times of the year when pollen levels are high, typically during spring, summer, or fall. Symptoms can vary in severity and may include:


·         Sneezing: Sneezing is a common symptom of seasonal pollen allergies, often occurring in rapid succession. It is the body's way of expelling irritants from the nasal passages.


·         Runny or Stuffy Nose: Nasal congestion and a runny nose are hallmark symptoms of allergic rhinitis. The nose may produce clear, watery discharge in response to allergen exposure.


·         Itchy or Watery Eyes: Seasonal allergies can cause itching, redness, and watering of the eyes, known as allergic conjunctivitis. Rubbing the eyes can worsen symptoms and lead to further irritation.


·         Itchy Throat or Palate: Some individuals with pollen allergies may experience itching or irritation in the throat or palate (roof of the mouth), often accompanied by a tickling sensation.


·         Coughing: Allergic rhinitis can trigger coughing, particularly when postnasal drip irritates the throat or airways. The cough is typically non-productive and may worsen at night.


·         Fatigue: Seasonal allergies can cause fatigue and general malaise, likely due to disrupted sleep patterns from nasal congestion and other symptoms.


·         Wheezing or Shortness of Breath: In individuals with underlying asthma, seasonal allergies can exacerbate respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.



According to Raleigh’s local news, The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) recently released its 2024 Allergy Capitals report and ranked Raleigh as 9th in a list of the most challenging places to live with allergies.


Well, that is awesome.


"The main reason we have so much pollen is because we have so many flowering trees," said WRAL meteorologist Aimee Wilmoth. "These trees are releasing more pollen compared to past years because our spring starts earlier and lasts longer due to climate change."

Even more awesome.


Historically, I have not been too bothered by seasonal allergies, but this year is different.  I’m feeling it. The pollen is everywhere… and it’s almost impossible not to experience this abundant yellow and green dust all around. 


I have found one of the most effective strategies for mitigating the effects of pollen has been using a neti pot.  The neti pot has origins in traditional Ayurvedic medicine.  This is an effective tool for nasal irrigation.  A neti pot is like a gravy boat full of saline solution.  The water is poured into one nostril, flows through the sinus cavity, and out the other nostril.  Sounds delightful right?  Yes, it’s a little funky for sure.  At the same time, it is very effective at cleaning the sinuses.


The sinuses are made to capture invading particles.  Then, we produce congestion/phlegm/mucus to capture the invading particles and remove them from our body either by a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, or removing them through our digestive system in the form of post-nasal drip.


When pollen is everywhere (…and it certainly is everywhere), it is also in your sinuses. Once there, your immune system starts the histamine reaction to get it out.  So, when you wash out your sinuses, you remove the pollen and other invading particles.  As a result, there is significantly less exogenous matter in your sinuses for your body to react to and remove.  Score!


Basically, the neti pot washes away the invading junk and by doing so, mitigates the need for your body to do it by producing congestion, coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose. 


Like I said, funky and effective.


If you are suffering from seasonal allergies, using a neti pot may be a huge help in decreasing your allergy symptoms. 


Good luck!


Article by Quinn Akira Takei, Doctor of Oriental Medicine(NM), Licensed Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, Functional Medicine Practitioner, and Holistic Health & Wellness Coach.
The Center: Natural Health Specialists, 8404 Six Forks Road, Suite 201, Raleigh, NC 27615. (919) 848-0200.

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