Tips for handling seasonal allergies

You're not alone if you're suffering from allergies this season.

Look around outside and you will notice the beautiful colors of spring. Blooming trees, plants, flowers and the crisp, cool springtime air can help improve your mood, but it can also wreak havoc on allergies. If you’ve been suffering from allergies in the past couple weeks, you are not alone. 

Megan Schlick, ND, is a naturopathic practitioner with AdventHealth’s Whole Health Institute and gives some advice on how to keep your seasonal allergies in check.

  • Minimize your exposure to the outdoors. It’s best to keep windows closed during peak allergy season. You may also need to avoid prolonged periods of time outside. When you are enjoying the outdoors, wear a hat to keep pollen and other allergens away from your hair and face.  
  • Add allergy prevention to your bedtime routine. Before climbing into bed, rinse your hair and use a nasal irrigator to eliminate pollen from your hair, nose and sinus cavity. If one nasal spray is not working for you, try another. There are many brands on the market, including some natural sprays that Dr. Schlick recommends to some patients such as NeilMed and Xlear.
  • Try natural antihistamines. If over-the-counter allergy meds are not cutting it, consider natural treatment options such as quercetin, stinging nettle, vitamin C and bromelain. Dr. Schlick often finds the most successful treatments are those using a combination of these natural antihistamines. It can take five to seven days of regular use to start noticing relief so start these options early.
  • Be proactive. Pay attention to local pollen indicators and the time of year you notice your allergies getting worse. It will likely be the same time frame next year, and it helps to add a note in your calendar to start preventative measures early. The goal is to start treatment two to four weeks in advance and stay on top of your treatment strategies. You should also talk with your allergist or primary care physician about how to best take and dose your over-the-counter allergy medications. 
  • Don’t suffer in silence. If you are not satisfied with the typical over-the-counter options or you are needing to use allergy medications year round, consult with your primary care physician or a naturopathic or integrative medicine provider. Further evaluation to uncover underlying causes of your allergies could be beneficial. It’s possible your allergies may be caused by food intolerances so your physician might recommend an evaluation into the health of your GI system.

The providers at AdventHealth’s Whole Health Institute are trained in the use of functional, integrative, naturopathic, and lifestyle and culinary medicines. They work in collaboration with your existing team of physicians to determine the underlying cause of disease to help you restore and improve your health. Learn more at AdventHealth.com/Integrative Medicine.