Soon enough the winter will be coming to an end, the ground will thaw, and warmer temperatures will appear…or so I hope!
Along with the beauty of green grass, full trees, flowers, and birds chirping, spring also signifies the beginning of allergy season for millions of Americans. The sniffling, wheezing, itching, sneezing and watery eyes can strip the enjoyment of the season almost as soon as it arrives.
Dealing with the symptoms so you can get outside and enjoy the weather is a priority for most. Let’s take a look at a few treatment options that could potentially help relieve allergy symptoms:
4 Remedies That May Help Relieve Allergy Symptoms
- Nasal filters: A new treatment option for allergies you might want to consider this year is a nasal filter. These are small contraptions that are similar to contact lenses for your nose. They can either be attached with a clip or adhesive and are applied to the nostril opening. If you’re fashion-conscious, I’d suggest going with the adhesive!A recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunity indicated nasal filters relieved throat irritation and runny noses in a trial group compared to a group using a placebo device. Now, it should be noted that it was a very small trial, with only 24 subjects and that the doctor who completed the study is also interested in selling filters. That being said, the filter is an intriguing idea that makes sense. Subjects indicated after about an hour of wearing it they no longer noticed its presence and did not experience difficulty breathing through their nose. Allergists are not taught about nasal filters in training, so there isn’t a strong consensus regarding their effectiveness. That being said, in a recent interview with NPR, allergists expressed they would not recommend against using one. If interested, you won’t be able to find these devices in the drug store yet. However, you can do a search and find them online.
- Natural antihistamines: There are some other natural antihistamines you can try if nasal filters don’t seem like a good idea to you. There is some buzz surrounding a European herb called butterbur. Multiple studies published in reputable medical journals, including the British Medical Journal, have shown it can be as effective as pharmaceutical antihistamines. Taking a tablet four times per day is an appropriate dose.
- Grape seed extract: Grape seed extract, which contains the flavonoid quercetin, can control the release of histamine to lessen allergic reactions. If you like red wine, this is great news because quercetin is abundantly present in the popular beverage.
- Spicy food: Spicy food can help clear nasal passages and reduce mucous secretion. Popular and useful items to try are cayenne and ginger.
Don’t let allergies hamper your enjoyment this time of year. You’ve waited and endured a lot and deserve to take full advantage of the summer months. After all, they will be gone again before you know it!
Singh, M., “Tiny In-Nose Filters Aim to Keep Allergies at Bay,” NPR web site, March 11, 2014; http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/11/289037074/tiny-in-nose-filters-aim-to-keep-allergies-at-bay?sc=ipad&f=1128, last accessed March 18, 2014.
“Nasal Filter Looks Promising for Allergy Sufferers,” Science Daily web site, March 7, 2014; http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140307100214.htm, last accessed March 18, 2014.
Schapowal, A., “Randomized Controlled Trial of Butterbur and Cetirizine for Treating Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis,” British Medical Journal web site, September 13, 2001; http://www.bmj.com/content/324/7330/144, last accessed March 18, 2014.