How To Treat Pollen Allergies

By Subodh / October 5, 2014

Most plants bloom around spring time. Pollens are small particles that help plants to reproduce. Many people develop allergies to pollen grains on inhalation. The allergy to pollen grains may manifest itself in a variety of symptoms that vary from person to person in expression and severity. Some of the most common symptoms are: nasal blockage, difficulty in breathing, thick phlegm, sneezing, sneezing, coughing, runny nose and red/ watery eyes. The seasons arise around fixed times in an year and that should alarm your mind that these symptoms could be arising due to pollen allergy to certain plants. Mulberry is one such very common plant.

If you too suffer from certain kinds of pollen allergies, then there are certain ways to avoid inhalation of these pollens and reduce all the associated discomfort. Let us read below how we can keep our homes pollen free during spring.

Pollen Allergies

  1. During Spring time or the months during which you experience the allergic symptoms, keeping your doors and windows closed is a good way to avoid the pollens from flying into your home with the wind.
  2. While travelling. Keep the windows of your car closed during the bloom season and rely on car air conditioning instead.
  3. Use vacuum cleaners to remove pollens sticking on to your bedding, sofa sets and carpets to avoid accidental inhalation.
  4. If it is absolutely necessary to step outside then do wear your face masks or tie a scarf around your face. You can protect your eyes using a pair of sunglasses.
  5. Use dryers in washing machines to dry your clothes instead of air/ sun drying them to avoid pollens from sticking on to them.
  6. You need to be careful with pets as their fur acts as a carrier for pollens that you might be allergic to.
  7. Maintain personal hygiene by clipping nails, bathing everyday and shampooing your hair more often during spring time.

Anti Allergic Drugs

These mostly comprise of anti histaminic drugs and their various generations. Dry mouth and drowsiness remains a common side effect of these class of drugs. The newer generations however, provide a much better relief from the symptoms of allergies with much lesser side effects.

If you would rather rely on natural and safe ways to treat your pollen allergies, Below are some commonly practiced ways

Nasal Drainage Using Salt Water

Warm up a little water and add non iodised salt to it. The concentration of salt can be adjusted to make it most comfortable for usage, as per you. This water is then used to drain your nasal passages. You may use your cupped palms or Neti pots for this purpose. Neti pots are earthenware especially designed for this purpose. They have a snout that can be inserted in the nostril to slowly pour controlled amounts of warm salt water for nasal drainage. Draining the nose this way removes all the pollens that might be sticking against the mucosal surfaces.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Flax seeds, certain varieties of fishes like Salmon and sea food like shrimps, Walnuts, Tofu and Soyabeans are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. These are a group of Poly unsaturated fatty acids that have double fats and are very popular as healthy fats. These are cardio protective, immunoprotective and anti inflammatory in nature. The people who consume foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids are much less likely to suffer from seasonal symptoms of pollen allergies as opposed to those who do not consume such foods.

Decongestant Foods

There are some foods that act as natural anti inflammatory substances and natural decongestants to help keep your airways clear. You may consume chicken soup, chilli peppers and hot mustard to your food.

Nettle Leaves

These leaves from Nettle plant ( urtica dioica) are your natural alternative to anti allergic drugs. These are available in freeze dried capsular form in stores and can be consumed (around 300mg) on daily basis around allergy season. These leaves inhibit your body’s histamine secretion. If you can manage to get fresh leaves from somewhere then you may make your own potions and teas using these leaves. However, you need to be careful while handling these leaves as they may lead to contact inflammation on fingers. So, put on gloves.

Quercetin

It is a plant derivative that is rich on Bioflavinoids. It acts by suppressing the activity of mast cells and thereby decreases the release of histamines and hence subsides all the symptoms of pollen allergies. The foods that are naturally rich in quercetin include Citrus fruits like mausambi/ oranges/ strawberries/ radpberries, Amla, onions, apples, tea, tomatoes, broccoli and lettuce leaves. Consume these foods all throughout the year and especially increase their intake around 6 weeks prior to your anticipated allergic bouts.

Sub Lingual Immuno Therapy

Very small and diluted quantities of the specific allergen are used in this modality of treatment. The person suffering from allergy is asked to put this pollen extract under the tongue for 2 minutes and then swallow. This gradually builds up a person’s resistance towards the allergen and the body reacts less adversely during allergy season. The amounts used are usually in 1: 1000 dilution and safe to use. However, it is very important to consult your doctor regarding this very specific form of therapy.

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