Sniffling, sneezing, puffy eyes, itchy throat, itchy skin, shortness of breath - my family has it bad! I got my first call of the season yesterday from my 4th grader's school that her asthma was acting up and the other day my 12 year old started to complain about her itchy throat. According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America it is estimated that 50 million Americans suffer from indoor/outdoor seasonal allergies. When my children were young I swore that I would not medicate them with over-the-counter elixirs. I used herbs and down home remedies to heal them and quell their misery. Well times have changed and while I still use echinacea and golden seal to boost their immune systems, in the past I gave into allergy shots and an albuterol inhaler because things got really bad.
My oldest became allergic to everything pollinated - that included anything grown in the ground or on a tree. Then she developed seasonal asthma which scared me to death. I only allowed her to use the albuterol pump twice during the season while monitoring her closely and making sure she stayed indoors 90 percent of the time for two months. What a horrible thing for a child, but I didn't want her to become dependent on the medication. I have since learned to be proactive which means giving her Zyrtec before the season gets started, so needless to say, that regimen starts tomorrow.
Then the eczema flares up and is in full swing sometimes leaving both of my girls scratching and bleeding. Much of my research on eczema and allergies in general from alternative medicine sites suggested that diet has a great deal to do with flare ups which sometimes leads to asthma. We watch their diet closely and are extra cautious during allergy season. Limiting their sugar and dairy intake has made a huge difference and has allowed their skin to heal and limits the break outs. For a topical solution, Aquaphor is great for healing the skin, though many people do not like to use petroleum products. We also tried acupuncture one year which worked wonderfully. There are still occasional flare ups, but we have learned how to manage them with a combination of remedies and practices.
Now for me and the hubby, a nasal cleanse works wonders. You can purchase a Neti Pot at your local drug store or use a syringe bottle with a saline solution to clear the nostrils and help relieve allergy symptoms. It takes a bit getting used to, but worth it once you get the hang of it.
For more information on allergy relief, the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America has a support community which I sometimes find helpful at http://www.inspire.com/groups/asthma-and-allergy-foundation-of-america/.
Do you or your family members suffer with allergies? What do you do to get through the season? I am always up to learning new strategies. Let me know in the comments.
Happy healing and gesundheit!