Home Remedies for Allergies

Typically a Spring-time issue, allergies can be a constant misery for those who suffer the worst. Airborne particles, chemicals, and foods all have the capability to cause major allergic reactions. People with allergies possess an immune system that reacts to a usually harmless substance negatively. The substance can be anything: pollen, mold, animals are all very common allergens, and affect about 20 percent of Americans. During a reaction, the body begins to produce a specific type of antibody that binds the allergen, which then attaches to a blood cell called a mast cell. The allergen then binds to that antibody in the mast cell, which then releases a variety of chemicals into the blood, such as histamine. This is what causes most symptoms of an allergic reaction.

How can I prevent allergies?

  • Stay indoors when seasonal pollen levels are high. Wash your hair at night to release trapped pollens that may be stuck in hair. Keep stress levels low.
  • Use a saline nose rinse or spray to clear pollen from your nostrils.
  • Try an antihistamine that provides relief for most people.
  • Keep dust mites out of the house by keeping the home temperature in the mid to low 60s and the humidity below 50 percent.
  • Bleach any indoor mold that is found.

What are the symptoms of allergies?

  • Allergens can trigger red, swollen, itchy eyes, asthma attacks, postnasal drip, sinusitis, rash, or hives. Most symptoms will go away shortly after exposure to the allergen stops.
  • Food allergies can cause cramps, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • Insect sting reactions cause local swelling, redness, and pain.
  • In some severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur, which can cause hives and itching over the entire body, wheezing and shortness of breath, tightness in the throat, and tingling in the hands, feet, lips, and scalp. This is life-threatening, and immediate medical attention is required.

How do I get rid of allergies?

  • Perhaps the most attractive mainstream remedy for allergies and stuffy sinuses at this point are Neti pots, which involves rinsing your nasal cavity with a saline solution and flushes allergens while loosening mucus.
  • Consuming honey produced by bees in your region can help relieve allergies through inoculation.
  • Use of a HEPA filter eases symptoms by trapping allergens and other irritants. Whole-house systems are generally more effective.
  • Several herbs and other supplements have been studied for allergy relief. Butterbur, a plant extract that reduces airway inflammation is one of the strongest and eases symptoms just as much as some over the counter antihistamines. Spirulina, eyebright, and goldenseal are also viable options.
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