Seasonal allergies?- Seven tips to combat seasonal allergies

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Featured

Published on May 23, 2018 with No Comments

By Family Features

It’s time to welcome fresh air, enjoy outdoor barbecues and run around at the park with family and friends. While embracing these warm activities, you may also face the dreaded symptoms of allergies.

However, allergy season doesn’t have to keep you indoors. Pediatric health expert Dr. Tanya Altmannoffers these tips to help manage and prevent common symptoms.

Avoid the allergy:Avoid what you are allergic to as much as possible. If you are allergic to tree and grass pollens, limit your time outdoors. Consider taking part in activities without as much exposure to tree and grass pollen, such as gymnastics or swimming.

Spend time outside in the afternoon:While exercise and playing outdoors are important (and fun), try to stay inside during the morning hours when pollen counts are typically at their highest, and instead opt for outdoor workouts and activities later in the day.

Protect your face:Shield your eyes with sunglasses, keep your hair pulled back or wear a hat to prevent pollen from contacting your face.

Wash your pets:Your furry friends are also vehicles for transporting pollen. Wash them after being outside so they don’t bring pollen into the house. Talk with your veterinarian regarding the best practices for washing your pet.

Close windows: Keep bedroom windows closed to prevent pollen from entering. If you love the fresh air, open non-bedroom windows in the afternoon or evening when pollen counts are lower, or opt for indoor fans and air conditioning.

Wash pollen off:Bathe kids and change clothes after being outside to remove pollens from their hair, faces and clothing. Pollens are airborne and microscopic, so you can’t always see them. Wash hair at night to avoid sleeping in pollen.

Do your laundry:Pollen can linger on clothing, so try to wash clothes after they’ve been worn, especially after outside play. Use laundry products that are made without dyes and perfumes.


10 Natural Remedies for Sinus Pain

Before turning to antibiotics, try these sinus pain remedies to help ease achiness and congestion


Most people have experienced sinus pain and pressureat some point in their lives and most recover without any prescribed medications. But there are natural sinus pain remedies that can offer relief, whether your symptoms are due to the common cold, allergies, or a sinus infection (sinusitis).

The sinuses are hollow pockets within the bones surrounding the nose. They produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If your nose is swollen due to inflammation, it can block the sinuses and cause pain, congestion, post-nasal drip, a cough, and tooth or facial pain. Sinusitis can be acute, lasting up to four weeks, usually after a cold, or it can be chronic, lasting for months or even years with or without symptoms. Allergies, nasal problems, and certain conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, can also cause acute and chronic sinusitis, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Try a few of these natural remedies for sinus pain relief to help break the sinus pain cycle:

  1. Flush your nasal passages.“There is a lot of debate about which sinus pain remedies work and what has been proven, but saline spray and washes like the neti pot are indisputable,” says Dr. Spencer C. Payne, an associate professor of otolaryngology (head and neck surgery) at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. A saline wash thins mucus and helps flush it out of the nasal passages. “Saline washes have been studied and proven to be effective, and should be the first line of defense against sinusitis,” Dr. Payne says. If you have sinus problems, Payne recommends daily use of a saline solution via the neti pot or other device to keep the sinuses moist, and to double up when you are fighting a cold or allergies.
  2. Try bromelain.Sold as a supplement, bromelain is a protein found in pineapple stems. For years, it’s been used by prize fighters to reduce swelling. “Bromelain appears to be beneficial and helps reduce swelling in the nasal passages,” says Dr. Robert Graham, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and assistant professor at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. Just be sure to talk to your doctor first, because bromelain may interact with other medications you’re taking. And be sure to follow exact dosing instructions.
  3. Take a steam.Hot water vapor can help moisten the sinuses. “Sprinkle a few drops of eucalyptus or menthol in the shower and steam up your bathroom,” Graham suggests. “A hot, steamy shower or bath can also help to loosen up mucus and debris that is stuck inside your nose,” says Dr. Sam S. Rizk, a New York City-based ear, nose, and throat doctor and facial plastic surgeon.
  4. Drink up.Staying hydrated helps your body in many ways, including keeping your sinuses moist. Drink water throughout the day, and make sure to steer clear of caffeinated or alcoholic drinks, which can cause dehydration, Graham says. Although recommended fluid intake differs from person to person, an easy guideline is to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day. How can you tell if you are getting enough fluids? “If the color of your urine is clear, you are hydrated,” Graham says.
  5. Spice it up.Spicy foods such as mustard, hot peppers, curry, horseradish, and wasabi may help clear sinuses, Graham says. If you like spice, consider adding some “hot” spices to your meals to open your nasal passages.
  6. Allergy-proof your home.Allergies can make sinus pain worse. The latest guidelines from the American Academy of Otolaryngology call for controlling your home environment by getting rid of dust mites, installing an air filter system, using bedding with allergen-barriers, and keeping any pets out of the bedroom to help curb nasal allergies.
  7. Use a humidifier.A humidifier can keep the air moist, but be sure to keep it clean, especially if you have mold allergies, says Dr. Satish Govindaraj, an associate professor of otolaryngology and neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. A dirty humidifier can breed mold. And you should only use a humidifier during dry months, not when it’s humid. In addition, keep an eye on the humidity level in the room, Payne adds. “Thirty-five to 50 percent humidity is ideal,” he says. “If you start fogging the windows, the humidity level is too high.”
  8. Apply warm compresses.“You can use a warm compress to help keep the nasal tissues moist,” Rizk says. “Or, fill a deep bowl or pot with steaming water and place your face over it with a towel around your head to breathe the steam in.” Just be careful not to burn yourself. You can also follow up the warm compress with a cold compress, which may help relieve sinus pain.
  9. Don’t ask for antibiotics right away.Using antibiotics indiscriminately can lead to antibiotic resistance and the development of superbugs, plus they may not be effective in treating most cases of sinusitis. “Less than two percent of these infections are bacterial,” Payne says. “Most are viral and should be treated without antibiotics.” So-called “watchful waiting” may be indicated, the American Academy of Otolaryngology guidelines state. Your doctor may suggest a seven-day waiting period without antibiotics to see if you get better on your own. In fact, according to a study published in JAMAin 2012, for acute cases of sinusitis, antibiotics did little to reduce symptoms at three days of treatment and only provided small benefits at day seven. Quality of life improved over the 10-day treatment in patients receiving both placebo and the antibiotic.
  10. Know when to see the doctor.“If the sinus pain does not improve with over-the-counter help, your doctor can perform a CT scan of the nose and sinuses to look for anatomical blockages that can be treated surgically, such as a deviated nasal septum or nasal polyps,” Rizk says. If sinus pain lasts for a week or more and you have a fever, you should see an ear, nose and throat specialist, because you may need more aggressive treatment than natural remedies provide.






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