Sunday, March 21, 2010
I was disappointed to hear one of the kids in the church class I help in was out because of bad allergies. I'm lucky that I don't have any allergies, but it seems like many people don't share my luck! So I figured I'd do a little research about allergies.
I knew about the pollen count already; which is how much pollen there is in the air. (the higher it is, the worse allergy sufferers will feel) It did not occur to me that trees and grass could cause allergy problems, I just assumed it was flowers. Also, I didn't know the pollen count is lower on rainy days and worse on windy days.
There are many different over the counter treatments you can try:
-Antihistamines reduce sneezing, sniffling, and itching by lowering the amount of histamine (the substance produced during an allergic reaction) in the body.
-Decongestants clear mucus out of the nasal passageways to relieve congestion and swelling.
-Antihistamine/decongestants combine the effects of both drugs.
Nasal spray decongestants relieve congestion and may clear clogged nasal passages faster than oral decongestants.
-Cromolyn sodium nasal spray can help prevent hay fever by stopping the release of histamine before it can trigger allergy symptoms.
-Eye drops relieve itchy, watery eyes.
However, big note: It's still a good idea to talk to your doctor, to see what is best for your kid or yourself; they may even recommend a prescription medication.
There are natural options; but be very cautious before assuming a herbal remedy is safe because it says "natural". If you are on other medications, it can react badly with some herbal treatments.
One suggest from the WebMD site is nasal irrigation:
"Nasal irrigation with a combination of warm water, about a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and a quarter-teaspoon of baking soda may help clear out mucus and open sinus passages."
The pros and cons of nasal irrigation
One last interesting thing from WebMD was the suggestion of lots of spring cleaning; often. If you're the one cleaning and have allergies, wearing a mask is a help.
Of course I'm not a doctor (and you really should talk to one if it gets unbearable); but hopefully some of this can provide a bit of help.
My information from WebMD is from here:
Other links that may be helpful are:
-Weather.com guide on allergies
-Preventing Spring Allergies by Mayo Clinic
-Seasonal Allergies by Physician's Desk Reference