In the past I’ve been one of those people who, twice a year, come rain or shine, start sneezing and scratching my itchy eyes. I think the eyes were the worst. They itched so badly that I just wanted to claw them out. I had all kinds of nasal sprays and pills that I felt I had to take. Fortunately, I met a Naturapath who told me to give up dairy products, which I did. It worked! No more seasonal allergies. I believe that because dairy products cause mucus that the mucus just holds on to all that pollen and just exacerbates the situation.
Once in a while I’ll start sneezing over something but it goes away quickly and is not accompanied by the itching eyes. I attended a dinner party a couple of months ago and happened to be standing at the bar with a bowl of yellow cheese in front of me. So, I enjoyed chips and cheese for about a half hour. When we sat down to dinner shortly after that half hour I started sneezing and couldn’t stop. This went on for about twenty minutes. I won’t do that again.
I love ice cream and yogurt and cheese but it’s not worth having hay fever over and the other problems caused by diary products. On top of that there are wonderful alternatives to dairy. Trader Joe’s has a soy ice cream that is delicious. There are many soy cheeses and of course alternative milks such as almond, soy and rice milk.
The following article comes from Natural Health Magazine, www.naturalhealthmag.com.
an ALLERGIST says: Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergy, occurs when inhaled pollen produces an exaggerated response from your immune system. The triggered rush of chemicals leads to red, irritated eyes, runny nose, heavy sneezing, and nasal congestion. ”
TREATMENT: I pre-treat with nasal and oral antihistamines, nasal steroids, and anti-allergy eye drops to prepare your system for allergy season. To calm sinuses, I recommend medications such as Claritin and Clarinex, and prescription Singulair; for nasal inflammation, I prescribe sprays like Nasonex and Veramyst, which contain corticosteroids.”
SELF-CARE: Gently rinse your closed eyelids daily to remove pollutants, excess mucus, and seasonal and indoor allergens. Wash nasal passages with a neti pot every morning to keep them clear and reduce swelling from constant sneezing and blowing. —Clifford W. Bassett, M.D., spokesperson for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
a TCM PRACTITIONER says: Hay fever is a sign of upper respiratory weakness, organ system imbalances, and reduced resistance. Traditional Chinese Medicine uses herbs and acupuncture to restore depleted energy reserves and strengthen the respiratory system. ”
TREATMENT: I recommend herbs and herbal formulas such as Bi Yan Pian, that contain chrysanthemum flowers, xanthium fruit, magnolia flowers, forsythia fruit, and licorice root. When these ingredients are combined they reduce inflammation and swelling, open nasal and sinus passages, and relieve congestion. ”
SELF-CARE: For instant allergy relief, massage several easily located acupuncture points for a minute or two. Try the Large Intestine 20 point, located in the lower crease on both sides of your nostrils, to stimulate drainage, clear nasal passage congestion, and quell sneezing. —Efram Korngold, O.M.D., L.Ac., co-owner of Chinese Medicine Works in San Francisco
a HOMEOPATH says: Homeopathy doesn’t treat the specific effects of seasonal allergies, but rather works to rebalance your internal energy, or “vital force,” and thus strengthen your immune system. ”
TREATMENT: Operating on the principle that like heals like, homeopathy uses natural remedies derived from plant, animal, and mineral sources. I often prescribe Allium cepa tablets: Made from onions, they trigger allergylike symptoms of runny nose, sneezing, and watery and irritated eyes to allow your natural defenses to adapt to the allergen. I prescribe a 30c potency to be taken twice daily for two days after symptoms start. ”
SELF-CARE: To find specific remedies for common symptom combos—runny nose/burning eyes, watery eyes/sneezing, congestion/stuffy head, consult Everyone’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicine (Tarcher, 2004), by Stephen Cummings and Dana Ullman. —Pamela Swanson, R.N., C.C.H., an alternative medicine practitioner with Homeopathic Associates of Central Florida