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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.

Copyright © 2010 Aisle7. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of the Aisle7 content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Aisle7. Healthnotes Newsletter is for educational or informational purposes only, and is not intended to diagnose or provide treatment for any condition. If you have any concerns about your own health, you should always consult with a healthcare professional. Aisle7 shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. AISLE7 is a trademark of Aisle7.

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