Tag Archives: allergies

How to Promote Healthy Lungs During Seasonal Challenges

promote healthy lungs

Learn how to promote healthy lungs during seasonal allergies.

We all love fall, the cooler weather, the changing of the leaves, and the beginning of the holiday season. But, it’s not all perfect. For many of us, the beautiful fall weather is also the beginning of nagging fall allergies and other seasonal challenges. So right now, during National Healthy Lung Month, we want to encourage you to get a head start on strengthening your immune system to ensure that you have healthy lungs all year round.

What Causes Fall Allergies

Many people think of spring when talking about seasonal allergies. After all, that’s when all the flowers start to bloom, releasing pollen into the air, and causing our sneezing to become out of control. But, of the 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies, many are also affected in the fall by these cool weather culprits:

  • Ragweed – A fall plant that can produce up to a billion pollen grains per growth. Many people who suffer from spring allergies are also highly allergic to ragweed.
  • Mold Spores – Mold can hide under piles of wet leaves and other moist areas that aren’t being dried out by the hot sun any longer.
  • Poor Air Quality – Colder weather has many spending more time indoors, which can wreak havoc on healthy lungs if the air quality is poor because of dust mites, mold, must and recycled air. Outside, the stronger winds blow allergens around, and when we breathe them in they start to aggravate our lungs.

Dealing with Fall Allergies

Just as we take multivitamins and eat a nutrient rich diet to promote a strong immune response to disease and viruses, our lungs need a little pick-me-up from time to time. Symptoms of fall allergies include:

  • Itchy/Watery Eyes
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny Nose
  • Itchy Skin, Eyes, and Nose
  • Dark Eye Circles

Healthy Lungs and No Symptoms

Fall allergies are not something you have to just deal with. There are plenty of tips and products that can help relieve symptoms and even prevent them from starting. Check these out:

Wear a Mask – Wearing a mask outdoors can help protect your lungs from ragweed and other allergens. It’s especially a good idea to wear one on windy days or when working in the yard, such as raking leaves.

Build Your Immune Response – Using immune response formulas such as Lung and Bronchial Tonic from Natura Health Products can help soothe and strengthen your respiratory system and help fight off any unwanted allergens.

Use a Nasal Spray – One of the easiest ways to control congestion, sinus pressure, and sneezing, as well as stimulate a natural healing response. Try Sinus and Allergy Nasal Spray by bioAllers.

Keep Windows Closed – When pollen and ragweed counts are high, shut windows, and doors to keep allergens out of your home.

Change Outdoor Clothing – To avoid bringing allergens inside your home, remove your shoes and coat before coming inside the house. If possible, immediately shower and change your clothes to remove as much ragweed pollen as possible.

Try a Natural Antihistamine – Many antihistamine products can be sedating as well as other unwanted side effects. Try an all-natural product such as AlliHist Relief from Nutra BioGenesis instead.

Don’t let fall allergies keep you from enjoying the season. Try these tips to promote healthy lungs and a strong immune response, and start loving the cooler weather again. Good luck!

Natural Ways to Alleviate Fall Allergies

natural-remedies-for-fall-allergies

Summer is now officially behind us. Temperatures are falling, the leaves are changing, the scent of pumpkin spice is beginning to waft out of retail stores and eateries. But along with this more manageable climate comes one of the season’s most unwanted effects. 

Depending on where you live in the country, many plants are now blooming! These include fruit trees, grasses, or weeds and shrubs. But for each of these plants, their reason for activity is the same. The intense sun of the summer and icy cold of winter makes it difficult for plants to thrive. However, while the temperate weather of Spring is ideal, so too are the post-summer Fall months. That’s why you might start to suffer from allergies even as you see the leaves turning and many of your flowers starting to retreat. 

So how do we fight these symptoms naturally? While it’s impossible to completely prevent allergic reactions to fall pollinators, at least if you are sensitive to them, we can limit their effect on our bodies with some simple preventative measures. 

Clean Your Sinuses

If your allergies manifest as a runny nose, sneezing, and nasal pain, this is one of the most straightforward allergy types to treat. What’s happening is pollen is getting into your sinuses as you breathe and are being trapped in the mucosal membranes of the sinuses. Then, the body begins to attack the pollen as if it is a foreign invader, such as a viruses or bacteria. This leads to inflammation, a runny nose, sneezing, pressure, and other unpleasant effects that make your feel so down. So what can you do? 

Using a neti pot with cool and sterilized water through your nasal passages is one of the best solutions to this problem. A neti pot will help wash away the pollen and clean the sinus cavity of anything that you have inhaled and could be contributing to other problems. Repeat as necessary, especially before bed or after going outside. 

Clean Your House and Air

If you are very sensitive to pollen, it’s important to keep a clean house. We recommend vacuuming frequently with a HEPA-rated filter, and changing your bedsheets and pillowcases weekly. 

Also consider running your air conditioner and central heating system; you can turn off the climate system and only run the fan setting if you have a filter to reduce airborne compounds.

Speaking on the air filter, make sure to change it every month or two, especially in the times when your allergies are at their worst. Dirty air filters have low filtration efficiency, and in the worst cases your HVAC system might just be pushing allergens through the air more than if it wasn’t on at all. 

Use Supplements Formulated for Allergies

You do have the option to take over-the-counter and prescription drugs to help you through the fall allergy season. However, it is important to speak with your doctor about any symptoms, such as drowsiness or other side effects. 

If you are looking for a more natural approach, there are two products that you may want to consider.

  • Quercetin-Bromelain Complex from Douglas Laboratories includes quercetin, which has been shown to have properties that may provide antioxidant support and may provide temporary relief from occasional swelling, irritation, and discomfort and anti-inflammatory properties that may help to soothe allergies.
  • Integrative Therapeutics AllQlear. AllQlear uses quail egg powder, which contains ovomucoid, a type of trypsin inhibitor that may be ideal for sinus comfort during the busy allergy season.

At the end of the day, you may not be able to totally prevent or reverse Fall-time allergies, but you can likely diminish their effect. We hope that this is the case for you this year, so you can enjoy the cool temperature and beautiful weather, without being distracted by the misery of a stuffy nose and sinus pain.

Summer Allergy Season Is Here

SummerAllergySeasonBy Susan Brown

Allergies are among the most common chronic conditions worldwide.  In the United States alone, seasonal allergies affect an estimated 40 to 50 million people.  Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, scientists are predicting a robust summer allergy season possibly due to climate change.  Seasonal changes, considerable amounts of precipitation, and historically high levels of carbon dioxide all nourish pollen producing trees, grasses, and plants and encourage the growth of molds and fungi.  Pollen counts are expected to continue to increase by as much as 30% by 2020 and may double by 2040.  It’s becoming apparent that warmer spring temperatures are leading to declines in snow cover and are impacting the biological clocks of plants, leading to earlier, longer, and more intense allergy seasons and more potent allergens. 

That’s bad news for people with asthma and allergy sensitivities, as symptoms are expected to be severe.  “Warmer temperatures and carbon dioxide are like fertilizer for many plants that produce allergens,” said Lew Ziska, a research plant physiologist at the United States Department of Agriculture. “Given how many people already have respiratory problems like asthma, a longer, more intense allergy season can be a real public health concern.”

Seasonal allergic reactions are a sign that your immune system is working overtime.  Typically, allergic reactions do not happen the first time one comes into contact with an allergen, something that is usually harmless like pollen, dust mites or mold.  With additional exposure, immune systems develop sensitivities to allergens, and once recognized and memorized, react by releasing antibodies. These antibodies, known as immunoglobulin E., travel to cells that release histamines and other chemicals, resulting in irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane linings of your nose, sinuses, ears, throat and lungs. 

Symptoms of seasonal allergies can include:

  • Sinus pain and pressure
  • Congestion
  • Sneezing, wheezing, coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy eyes, nose, throat, and palate
  • Swelling
  • Shortness of breath
  • Watery eyes
  • General miserable feeling

A single ragweed plant may release as many as 1 million grains of pollen each day and can be carried by the wind for many miles.  Mold spores, which grow outdoors in fields and on dead leaves, are almost impossible to avoid and can outnumber pollen grains even at the height of pollen season.  Avoiding exposure to irritants and allergens is not always possible or practical.  While it’s difficult to escape pollen and molds, there are some ways to at least lessen exposure:

  • Keep windows closed and use air conditioning both at home and in the car, if possible.  Change or clean air conditioning filters monthly. 
  • Avoid using window fans that can pull pollen indoors.
  • Use of an indoor dehumidifier may help reduce dust mites and mold.
  • Cleaning regularly with a HEPA filtered vacuum will remove dust mites and other allergens and prevent their escape back into the air. 
  • Wash linens and pillowcases a minimum of once each week in hot water to kill mites.
  • Invest in dust mite barriers and covers for mattresses and pillows. 
  • Dust your home frequently and wash or dispose of the dust cloth. 
  • Humid bathrooms and basements are perfect mold environments.  Clean them often, especially around faucets, sinks and shower heads. 
  • Limit outdoor time between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. when pollen and mold counts are highest. 
  • Pay attention to pollen counts by subscribing to email alerts available from the National Allergy Bureau (NAB). 
  • Wear a pollen filtering mask when gardening, mowing or raking or anytime you plan to spend an extended time outdoors. 
  • Remove shoes and outdoor clothing as soon as possible to avoid bringing outdoor allergens indoors. 
  • Shower immediately and wash your hair after spending time outdoors. 
  •  Use of over the counter antihistamines, decongestants, and saline nasal sprays can help relieve symptoms especially when used preemptively before symptoms appear.  The majority of seasonal allergy medications work best at preventing symptoms from developing, and reducing the severity of symptoms that do appear. 
  • Use of a Neti Pot to rinse away allergens and flush the sinuses has been found to be a mild and effective way to treat symptoms. 
  • Quercetin, a natural plant-derived compound helps to stabilize mast cells and prevent the release of histamines. 
  • Stinging Nettle in freeze dried form is noted for providing seasonal support for the  sinus and respiratory systems. 
  • Butterbur is considered a natural alternative to antihistamines and may help maintain balanced seasonal immune responses.

“By planning ahead, people with allergies can still enjoy outdoor events,” said Dr. Myron Zitt, past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).   

Products for allergy support:

Natural D-Hist by Ortho Molecular –  This top selling product is formulated for maximum effectiveness, with carefully selected dosages of critical natural components to provide optimal support for nasal and sinus passageways.  Contains quercetin, stinging nettles leaf, bromelain and NAC.

D-Hist Jr. by Ortho Molecular –  Seasonal  support for children with the same natural ingredients as the adult formula.  Natural lemon-lime flavor. 

Activated Quercetin by Source Naturals –  A unique bioflavonoid derived from plant sources, quercetin has been shown to inhibit histamine release.

Nasal Rinse Cup by Banyan Botanicals –  This Neti Pot is designed for ease of use to provide soothing relief for nasal dryness, gently remove excess mucus, and rinse away dust, pollen and other irritants. Crafted from sturdy, lead-free ceramic and coated with food-grade sealant glaze.  Dishwasher safe.

Sinus Rinse Premixed Packets by NeilMed –  Contains 100 premixed packets of pH balanced sodium chloride and sodium bicarbonate mixture (USP grade, natural ingredients, isotonic, preservative & iodine free).  Use with Nasal Rinse Cup for allergy and sinus relief. 

SinuClenz by Physician’s Strength –  Sinus nasal spray with a cleansing formula containing wild oil of oregano, bay leaf, clove bud oil, sea salt and spring water. 

Stinging Nettles Freeze Dried by Planetary HerbalsFor herbal respiratory support.  Premium nettles have been freeze-dried to preserve the potency of the active constituents in the plant’s stinging hairs and leaves.  This process ensures that Freeze-Dried Stinging Nettles will deliver all the benefits inherent in the nettle plant.