Dr. Russ: Hi! I am Dr. Russ and a member of Harris Teeter's Yourwellness Team. Spring is in the air, the days are getting longer and the flowers and trees will soon be blooming. That means other things are in air too, like pollen its allergy season and for many of us that can mean congestion, itchy eyes, sneezing and fatigue.
Seasonal allergies are also called allergic rhinitis or hay fever and while they typically plague us during the spring and fall, some people actually have symptoms all year long, in which case, they are said to have perennial allergic rhinitis.
Allergy symptoms occurs when the response to otherwise harmless particles with inflammation. Again think pollen, if you think, you have allergic rhinitis, it's important to speak with your doctor for at least 2 reasons. One, allergy symptoms can be confused with other disorders and two, conventional medicines can often offer significant relief, that's said because the body's inflammatory response is affected by many factors including what you eat and how well you manage stress, there are a number of things that you can do on your own to help manage allergy symptoms. Here are just a few to keep in mind.
Follow an anti-inflammatory diet, one that emphasis vegetables and fruit, Omega-3 fatty acids from cold water fish like Alaskan salmon and sardines, low glycemic index carbohydrates, whole grains and anti-inflammatory cooking oils like extra virgin olive oil or cold expeller pressed organic canola oil.
Make sure to use good air filters in your home. Consider using the now widely available Neti Pot to wash pollen out of your nose and sinuses before it causes any problems.
Chronic stress contributes to inflammation in the body so it's possible that stress can worsen allergy symptoms. Remember to manage the stress in your life in a healthy way including getting seven hours of sleep each night.
Lastly if you smoke, please try to stop and do your best to avoid secondhand smoke. Tobacco smoking, irritate the lining of the reparatory tract making inflammation more likely.
I hope the information, I have shared with you helps you and your loved ones to better enjoy this beautiful time of year. Be well!