Doctor's note: Winter is (almost) over. Allergy season is upon us!

a seasonal note from Amanda Roe ND

Allergy season is about to be back in the Pacific NW after a long, cold, wet, windy winter.  Beyond Claritin, Zyrtec and Benadryl, the best way to combat the itching, sneezing, runny nose days and nights is to abide by the LAWS of Allergy Hygiene.  Decrease your exposure, decrease your symptoms!  If you have really bad allergies every year, take note, as these lifestyle hacks work well to decrease the intensity.  Remember, you want to lower your load so your body is not so easily triggered into response.

Standard Allergy hygiene:

  • Keep your windows closed in your home and car to avoid letting in pollen, especially when the local pollen count is high. Set your air conditioners to re-circulate in your home and vehicle, to avoid drawing in outside pollen-rich air.

  • The pollen counts are the highest between 5am and 10am, so limiting your outside exposure during those times can be extremely helpful for diminishing your allergies.

  • Limit exposure on mornings that are especially warm and dry; these will usually be the high pollen count days. Days that are dry and windy also have high pollen counts. The best time for outdoor activities is immediately following a heavy rainfall.

  • Avoid line drying your clothes and bedding outdoors when your local pollen count is high.  Use an indoor rack instead.

  • Wash your face and hands after you’ve been outside to remove pollen. Also, change and wash clothes if they’ve been exposed to pollen.

  • Bathe and shampoo hair daily before going to bed to remove pollen from hair and skin in order to keep it off your bedding. Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.

  • Minimize contact with items that have come in contact with pollen, such as pets and people that have spent a large amount of time outdoors.

  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen, and in severe allergy cases, wear a facemask when daily pollen counts are extremely high.

  • Shed all outdoor layers at the door to minimize tracking it into your personal space, especially places where you will be relaxing, such as sofas and beds. 

Get ahead of the game by decreasing your inflammatory load NOW.  Lower inflammatory load = lowered reactivity to pollens. I revamped the "Eating to Decrease Inflammatory Response" handout so you can integrate it before the pollen swells to a max around here. 

Read more from Amanda Roe ND on her blog at Nature Intervenes.

Amanda Roe