Allergies are one of the most common health concerns facing adults and children in America, reports the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. “More than 50 million Americans have experienced various types of allergies each year,” notes the foundation, with seasonal allergies specifically affecting more than 19 million adults and more than 5 million children every year. As we enter the spring seasonal allergy season, let’s explore how allergies affect your immune system and what you can do to naturally, effectively soothe your seasonal allergies.
Seasonal Allergies and Your Immune System
Seasonal allergies don’t just affect your immune system. Seasonal allergies actually start with your immune system. It all comes down to a bit of “confusion” in your body. Your immune system is essentially reacting in a disproportionate way to things that it thinks are harmful, and it’s this immune reaction that is behind the symptoms that so many of us find annoying when it comes to allergy season.
“An allergy starts when your immune system mistakes a normally harmless substance for a dangerous invader,” explains the Mayo Clinic. “The immune system then produces antibodies that remain on the alert for that particular allergen. When you’re exposed to the allergen again, these antibodies can release a number of immune system chemicals, such as histamine, that cause allergy symptoms.”
For example, if you’re exposed to common allergens, such as flower pollen or mold spores, your immune system may think these allergens are invading bacteria, viruses, or pathogens. In response, your immune system releases antibodies to deal with these allergens. And similar to your immune system’s response to a virus like the cold virus, these antibodies trigger the symptoms that we all attribute to seasonal allergies: A running nose, coughing or sneezing, red eyes, etc.
Yet even though seasonal allergies might be an “overreaction” to a harmless substance, seasonal allergies left untreated can have a negative impact on your immune system. For example:
- Seasonal allergies can leave your airways more sensitive, which in turn leaves them more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses
- A constantly stressed immune system may be less prepared to respond to a true infection or pathogen
- Seasonal allergies often impede your ability to get a good night’s rest, and lack of sleep can impair your immune system in significant ways
- Taking too many over-the-counter medications for your seasonal allergies may further weaken your natural immunity
Thankfully, there are ways to naturally deal with your seasonal allergies.
Natural Ways to Soothe Your Seasonal Allergies
1. Rinse Your Nose
Your nasal passage is typically where you experience the most symptoms. This makes sense, because many of the most common allergens — such as dust, mold spores, and pollen — are first trapped in your nose. Multiple studies show that rinsing your nose regularly can help to physically remove these allergens, thus reducing your seasonal allergies.
There are many different ways to rinse your nose such as by using a Neti Pot or sinus rinse squeeze bottle. Or, simply purchase a saline nasal spray, breathe in while spraying several times before blowing your nose. Be sure to read the ingredients, as saline sprays can be used very frequently, while medicated sprays should be used with caution.
2. Tidy Up Your Home
Keeping your home clean and tidy helps remove a lot of the most common allergies. However, the key isn’t just to dust (which simply moves allergens around). Consider:
- Run a HEPA air filter to remove pollen and other allergens from your home’s air
- Sweep and vacuum regularly
- Wipe down horizontal surfaces with a damp cloth
3. Balance Your Immunity With Acupuncture
In one study, which reviewed 13 different independent clinical trials, researchers found that acupuncture helped lower the immune system’s response to seasonal allergies. Probiotic supplements were also shown to be effective. Of course regular use of BioPro Plus-500 immune balancing supplement is essential to keeping your immune system “trained” to correctly identify dangerous pathogens versus harmless substances.