Once a year, people prepare themselves for the annual ritual of “Spring Cleaning”. It’s a time to shake off the cold in which we’ve hibernated for so long and get ready for beautiful warm & sunny days. It’s also a time when allergies, for many, come into season. Runny noses, itchy eyes, and constant sneezing signify the body’s response to immune system malfunctions. When a particular substance is recognized in the body, say pollen or ragweed, the immune system sees it as an “invader” hence reacting by causing a runny nose or perhaps watery eyes in order to eliminate that substance. But once the process has set in, the body becomes unusually sensitive to other perceived “invaders”. This could mean that a small reaction from pollen in the air could be intensified if dust or pet dander were also inhaled. If you remove some of the possible allergens, the allergic response can be lessened.
This is the perfect opportunity to take your Spring Cleaning of your home to the next level.
• Changing your air filters – pleated types are best in catching the most allergens in the air
• Vacuum like crazy – mattress, furniture, curtains, carpet (wearing a surgical mask while doing so can cut down on dust inhalation)
• Bathing your pets – dander & hair can worsen allergy symptoms
• Wash sheets weekly –use hot water over 140 degrees, it kills off dust mites
• Dust the house – try to use a cloth that will pick up dust and not just move it into the air
• Check for mild & mildew – make sure to look in damp dark areas like cabinets or beneath sinks because mold can release spores into the air exacerbating allergy symptoms
Once you’ve cleaned your home, try not to leave the windows open for airborne allergens can easily enter. All these things help clear up your surrounding “external” environment. It’s a good start in the right direction for sure, but often-times you need to examine your “internal” environment as well. The food you eat can make a big difference in how your body deals with allergens. Improving nutrition can really help. It also helps to know if your body is allergic to a specific food substance, like wheat or milk. Sugar is a big culprit in weakening the immune system and setting the body up for allergic responses.
Medications can help reduce allergy symptoms, but they won’t cure them. It’s not what they’re for. They’re like a small fire extinguisher in a huge forest fire, they can put out a little bit of the fire temporarily, but the big fire keeps burning. Acupuncture is a natural way to alleviate the symptoms from allergies (without the side effects like drowsiness or immune system suppression) quickly as well but finding a long term result takes a bit more time and patience. Once the body can be “reprogrammed”, the immune system can become stronger and better fight the battle.