Thursday, April 15, 2010

How to Survive Allergy and Pollen Season

From Denny: For most of the country allergy season is just beginning. Here in Louisiana I'm starting on round two. First it was the trees leafing out along with the weeds blooming and now it's the azaleas, Indian hawthorn and other sweet shrubs. Somehow, it's the first volley of pollen that's the worst as your immune system just isn't ready for the attack of killer plants.

Did you know that 60 million people suffer from allergies? No wonder there is a thriving industry for over the counter allergy medicines. This is the time of year when your body recognizes pollen and weeds as dangerous and so creates an intense reaction by releasing histamines.

Symptoms of Spring allergies:

* sore or scratchy throat

* red, itchy, watery eyes

* runny nose

* post-nasal drip

* cough (sometimes you wonder if you have a hairball like your cat)

* sneezing

* congestion

* itchy ears, buzzing sound

* you feel sluggish, tired and fatigued


Some over the counter medications available:


* Claritin

* Tylenol Allergy

* Sudafed PE

* Benadryl

* Afrin

* Visine

Make sure to check which medications might make you drowsy and take precautions not to drive, use heavy machinery, be found chopping veggies in the kitchen with sharp knives and the like. :)

I usually pass on over the counter meds and prefer to use lots of black tea, honey and lemon. At the height of the drippy business I go for spiking my hot tea, honey, lemon mixture with a healthy dose of cognac or brandy. You can use anything high octane alcohol you like or can tolerate. I find tea tends to work better than coffee for drying up the drips.

Another food to include in your diet are soups made with lentils as they are drying - especially mung beans. If you make a mung bean soup make sure to include carrots to help sweeten the taste as they are a natural pairing with mung beans that dry up excess water. That's why mung beans are so great for weight loss too.

If you can stay away from anything that is hard to digest like heavy meats. Stay away from mucous forming foods like milk, ice cream and cheese during this time. Food support is always important when you get into pollen season.

Ever noticed sometimes you feel itchy and sneeze even when in your house away from the pollen and the house is closed up with the air conditioning running full blast to filter the air? If you spent any time outside gardening, walking or anything else the pollen may have hitch hiked onto your shoes, clothing, hair and body. Take off your shoes, wash your clothes immediately and take a shower.

Other precautions to keep away the killer plants in your life is to buy a special vacuum cleaner for allergies, have hardwood or tiled floors, leather couches, no curtains, mattress and pillow covers and purchasing high numbered air filters for your air conditioning and heating system.

During the height of the pollen season be sure to change your air filter every month - not the three month period recommended by the product packaging. Trust me; you will feel better and the house will be clear of most pollen this way. Sometimes, I just run the house fan when the weather is not hot enough to run the air conditioning and the pollen gets filtered that way too. Consider this too: a lot less dusting! That's a "Yay!" factor in my book. :)





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