Seasonal Allergies: Tips and Tricks

Allergy season in the Northwest has officially started.  If you are feeling the symptoms here are a few tips to get you through...

1) Before bed wash your face and hair: Allergens, like pollen that are blowing around outside stick to our hair, clothes, and face.  Before bed, wash out these allergens so that your body's immune system isn't stuck fighting them all night long.

2) Wash your hands after petting your four-legged friends:  First, when we are having inflammation due to seasonal allergens, our bodies can become more sensitive to other allergens, such as pet dander.  This is because our immune system is in overdrive guarding against other, outside allergens.  This can cause a heightened general sensitivity and quickened inflammatory response.  Also, if your pets spend time outside, they too are covered in pollen and other allergens, so after you pet them wash your hands before touching your face.  Consider keeping your pets off your bed in order to avoid night time allergies.

3) Change your sheets regularly and your pillow case daily: Especially if you have intense allergies, keep a clean pillow case.  Where you lay your face at night should be clean and allergen free in order to avoid inflammation and symptoms throughout the night.

4) Don't underestimate the power of sleep: Sleep is one of the best ways to support and boost your body's immune system.  Your white blood cells are always working hard to stop allergens from entering the body.  In the evenings and while we sleep the body can tend to be more sensitive to allergens.  Restorative sleep can assist the body in its ability to fight these allergens more effectively.

5) Eat local honey or bee pollen: Research supports micro doses of allergens as a way to prime the immune system. This assists the immune systems ability to recognize the allergen, enabling your body to fight it more effectively.  A little bit goes a long way, and too much might flare your symptoms.

6) Wear sunglasses: keep allergens out of your eyes.

7) Avoid exposure to irritants: You might consider a break from your perfume or cologne, avoid smoke, and other harmful inhalants.