Springtime brings warmer temperatures and increase in outdoor activities. With a beautiful of array of plant life in bloom, many of us view spring with mixed emotions including the dread of the onslaught of seasonal allergies.
Allergic rhinitis, the cold-like symptoms that often accompany an allergic reaction to pollen or other environmental triggers, usually includes a runny nose, sneezing, nose and eye itching, tearing of the eyes, and postnasal drip which often causes a sore throat and/or cough.
Reducing exposure to allergens is recommended. Stay indoors on dry, windy days when possible. Avoid outdoor activities in the morning when pollen counts are the highest. If you must do yard or garden work, be sure to wear a pollen mask. Remove clothes worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from skin and hair.
Nasal irrigation is an inexpensive and effective way to reduce nasal congestion and clear allergens from nasal passages. Look for a squeeze bottle or a neti pot — a small container with a spout designed for nasal rinsing — at your pharmacy or health food store. Use water that's distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of one micron or smaller to make up the saline irrigation solution. Also be sure to rinse the irrigation device after each use with similarly distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered water and leave open to air-dry.
For some, allergies are just the beginning. Allergies and asthma often go hand in hand - the same triggers such as pollen, dust mites and pet dander - can also cause signs and symptoms of asthma.
Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack. Asthma can't be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled.
Chiropractic care can be part of a holistic treatment plan for allergies and asthma. “By removing the interference to the upper thoracic nerves, it can help improve lung function. Regular chiropractic adjustments can help better regulate the nervous system control of the lungs,” explains Dr. Terri Norburg.
Chiropractic care in conjunction with good nutrition, exercise and reduced exposure to triggers and medications as needed, can help allergy and asthma sufferers breathe a little easier this spring!
Good nutrition for those suffering from allergy and asthma symptoms can include: garlic, ginger, echinacea, turmeric and honey. A diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids has also been shown to decrease inflammation in the airways and boost lung function.
Vitamin A and carotenoids are essential to good respiratory health. This includes foods like: root veggies, sweet potatoes, carrots, leafy greens and berries.
Folate is also important because it reduces allergic reactions and inflammation. Foods high in folate include leafy greens, beans and nuts.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts and brussel sprouts and other foods high in antioxidants are important in reducing the effects of airborne pollutants.