Tag Archives: allergens

Understanding Seasonal Allergies

All of the blooming trees, flowers and other plants that make Spring such a beautiful time of year actually come with a very unwanted side effect for a number of people.

Seasonal allergies affect approximately 40 million Americans in severity ranging from mildly annoying to severely debilitating. According to John Sheffield, a Physician Assistant Studies instructor at South University in Savannah, GA, “Spring tends to be unique as, in most places, it is when a wide variety of plants begin to pollinate. It is these pollens that become the allergens.” Dust and mold can also contribute to seasonal allergies.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to manage allergies, sometimes even without medication.

Herbal remedies can be effective. Butterbur (Petasites hybridus), for example, has been shown to be just as effective as popular antihistamines in treating the symptoms of hay fever. Also topping the list of herbs for allergies, according to WebMD, are nettles and goldenseal.

While the pollen is flying, wear a hat and wash your hair everyday to rinse it out.

Saline nasal sprays are another effective natural option for treating the symptoms of seasonal allergies. Mary Hardy, MD, director of integrative medicine at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles explains, “”The saline works to wash out pollen and reduce or thin mucous.”

Those with allergies can also wear a paper dust filter in high pollen areas to decrease their exposure. file000192996392 300x292 Understanding Seasonal Allergies

Making your home a haven from allergens starts at the door. Don’t forget to wipe your feet on Dr. Doormat to destroy microbes on contact and trap allergens.

As frustrating as seasonal allergies can be, learning to manage them is key to feeling your best. Keep a record of when your allergies are worst and the plants that trigger symptoms to come up with a plan that works for you.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

Allergies and Pollen Counts, It’s more than Numbers

I am pleased to introduce our guest writer, Diane Dean, RN-BC, LPC, CEG from Pittsburgh, PA. Diane is a licensed registered nurse, a licensed counselor, professionally-trained coach and medical writer with 20+ years of healthcare experience.

Pollens:  They’re More than Numbers When it Comes to Allergies

 Allergies and Pollen Counts, Its more than Numbers

Pollen is everywhere

Sneeze.  Cough.  Sniffle. You took your allergy medicine, checked the pollen count and you haven’t missed an allergy shot.  So, what’s the problem?  Plenty, says Dr Jeroen Buters of TUM’s Chair of Molecular Allergology and the Center of Allergy & Environment. Buters set out to study the germ cells (pollen) of grass, birch trees and olive plants, common allergens in Europe.

Buters noted that factors other than the airborne pollen concentrations can affect your allergy symptoms. The most notable? Maturation of the pollen–the number of allergenic proteins present varies with the age of the pollen.

Pollen concentrations, especially grass pollens, also vary greatly within short period of time and distances, regardless of airborne pollen concentration levels. Buters notes, “The allergic potential varied by a factor of 10. In other words up to ten times more allergens were released on the ‘intense’ days than at other times.” Strangely, distance mattered little.  Buter’s research noted vastly different allergen concentrations—almost a fourfold difference in pollen concentrations—in pollen-measuring devices only 250 miles apart.

Last, the weather affects how much you’re wiping your nose or dabbing your tear ducts.  Buters fingers wind as one of the main factors that carry pollen from place to place, often inside of a short time span.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a subsidiary of the National Institute of Health, suggests the following measures to help reduce your suffering from environmental allergens, like pollen:

  • Avoid the outdoors between 5-10 AM. Save outside activities for late afternoon or after a heavy rain, when pollen levels are lower.
  • Keep windows in your home and car closed to lower exposure to pollen.
  • Avoid hanging clothes outside to dry.  Pollen can collect on clothing and be carried indoors.
  • Have someone else do the mowing, if you’re allergic to grass. If you must mow the lawn yourself, wear a mask.
  • Keep grass cut short.
  • Choose low-pollen ground covers and trees, like Irish moss, bunch, dichondra, crape myrtle, dogwood, fig, fir, palm, pear, plum, redbud and redwood trees; or the female cultivars of ash, box elder, cottonwood, maple, palm, poplar or willow trees.

     Allergies and Pollen Counts, Its more than Numbers

    Pollen Spore

Buters encourages immunologists and environmentalists to combine his new research with existing measures.  ”By combining allergen measurements, airborne pollen forecasts and weather data, we can significantly improve the allergy models used to date.” He also remains in favor of developing allergenic proteins for administration to allergy sufferers, in lieu of vaccines.

Buters is a visionary.  Although, yes, prevention’s the best measure, until researchers have integrated Buters’ research data into tangible means, we’re stuck with big old tissue wads in our pockets, allergy shot tincture vials, and an assortment of symptomatic over-the-counter remedies.

Oh…Gesundheit!

Best Regards,
signature Allergies and Pollen Counts, Its more than Numbers
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.

May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!

Best Regards,
Debbie Greenspan's signature
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Founder/CEO/Mom
Dr. Doormat, Inc.