Get a Jumpstart on your
Hay Fever this Season
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Timing Is Everything
Get a Jumpstart on Your Hay Fever This Season
Take Advantage of Integrative Options
Sniffling, sneezing, and wheezing? It must be pollen season. If you
suffer from hay fever, you can find relief through a number of
treatments. According to research or other evidence, the following
self-care steps may be helpful.
- Butterbur: To help with symptoms, take 1 tablet of an
herbal extract standardized to contain 8 mg of petasin two or three
times a day for two weeks
- Nettle: Ease symptoms by taking 450 mg of nettle leaf
capsules or tablets two to three times a day
- Guduchi: In one study, 300 mg of a standardized extract of Tinospora
cordifolia three times a day effectively relieved symptoms of
allergic rhinitis, including sneezing, runny nose, nasal obstruction,
and nasal itching
- Horny Goat Weed: Drink a tea made from 5 grams (1 tsp)
simmered in 250 ml (1 pint) of water for 10 to 15 minutes, three times
daily. Horny goat weed has been shown to relieve hay fever symptoms
- Probiotics: In one trial, supplementing with Bifidobacterium
longum strain BB536 during the pollen season significantly
decreased symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and nasal blockage
(refer to label instructions)
- Vitamin E: In a study of people with hay fever, adding 800
International Units (IU) of vitamin E daily to regular anti-allergy
treatment during the pollen season significantly reduced the severity of
hay fever symptoms
Keep these points in mind for more relief
Make an appointment with your healthcare provider or an allergist to
find out what airborne agents you may be allergic to and how you can
reduce their effects. In addition, remember:
- Over-the-counter saline sprays may help relieve a stuffy nose, and
many people find relief using a neti pot and saline rinse to prevent
pollen and other irritants from building up in the nostrils
- Sharing other people’s allergy relief products is never a good idea
- Using air conditioning, instead of open windows, and using an air
filter during allergy season can help keep pollen out
- Showering before bed will allow you to sleep pollen-free
Make the Most of Your Medicine
Want the most from medicines your doctor has recommended this allergy
season? Then taking them at the right time is the best way to get rid of
symptoms—but the right time may be earlier than you think.
Taking once-a-day antihistamines and nasal steroid sprays a week
before spring and fall allergy seasons are set to start could put you
ahead of the game, says Marjorie Slankard, professor of medicine at the
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City.
For example, in many parts of the country, ragweed season starts in
mid-August, so you’d want to start your medication around the second
week. “Once you start taking antihistamines, there’s a maximum buildup
by day five to seven,” says Dr. Slankard.
Keeping your dose of medicine constant will help relieve allergy
symptoms, so be sure to take it every day.
- If your symptoms are worse in the morning, be sure to take the drug
at night, recommends Dr. Slankard, as it will give the drug time to
build up in your body and be effective when you most need it.
- Even though you can take allergy medicines at any time of day,
taking them at bedtime is also a good idea if they cause sleepiness (ask
your doctor or pharmacist if yours does).
Keep your medicine on hand
Be sure to renew and refill prescriptions on time so you always have
your medicine when you need it.
- Think ahead when you're planning vacations or business trips and
have prescriptions renewed or refilled beforehand, or be sure to carry
your prescription and insurance information with you.
- Ask your doctor and pharmacist the easiest way to renew and refill
prescriptions, and mark your calendar.
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