Seasonal Allergies by Dr. Michael Kane
One of the best things about spring and
summer is the warm weather and the sun. In the excitement of spring many
people have a dampened appreciation because of seasonal allergies. The common
allergy symptoms of congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes and fatigue can be
annoying for some or downright debilitating for others. The common
drugs to deal with allergies are not without side effects and interactions.
There are some simple things that can be
done that are not medication-related to help make the season less of a
problem. A good rinse…One of the most beneficial things is doing a nasal
wash. This is a way to literally flush out the nasal passages with warm salt
water. There are a number of ways to do this. One favorite is the Neti Pot: a
ceramic pot with a long spout that fits into one nostril. You bend over the
sink and let the warm salt water run in one nostril and out the other. While
this may sound undesirable to some, it is effective in getting rid of those
tiny particles of dust, pollen or other allergens that we inhale. Most people
get used to it very easily.
Taking control….We have no control over
the release of pollen, but often we can reduce the other allergens that might
affect us like dust, dust mites, and molds. Air filtration can be expensive
but helpful. A simple cost-effective solution is making a fan filter. Take a
rectangular box fan and some cardboard framed furnace filters and duct tape.
Tape the filters to the side of the fan that intakes the air. Let the fan run
in your bedroom while you are not there and turn it off when you return.
Replace the filter when it gets dirty.
The other thing to consider is diet. For
many of us there are certain foods that might contribute to our allergic
disposition. Food sensitivities and food allergies are two different things.
Those immediate food allergies that people may have are things like reactions
to shell fish or peanuts, these cause those immediate reactions.
Food sensitivities might cause milder and
less immediate symptoms. These foods could contribute to the body’s
reactivity or overall body burden making allergy season worse than it needs
to be. There are blood tests for these foods. Ask your doctor about getting
Supplements to consider:
“Aller C” this a
combination of a bioflavinoid called Quercetin, an enzyme called bromelain
and Vitamin C. Together they help prevent the release of histamine, and
prevent and break down congestion, but without the side effects associated
with anti-histamine drugs.
Stinging Nettles is a plant long associated with helping seasonal
allergies. Research has specifically shown that stinging nettle leaf
naturally controls histamines, which is why a growing number of doctors
recommend taking a freeze-dried preparation before hay fever season begins.
It can also be used as a tea or in tincture form. We usually recommend
capsules of stinging nettle.
Homeopathic Desentization drops
These drops can assist your body to be less
reactive to the environmental allergens that you may have. There are
formulations come in various forms, tree pollen, grasses, animal dander and
molds. Talk to your doctor to see what combination might best help you.
This is the time to start taking these
measures so that you can get your body prepared for allergy season. So if you
do suffer with seasonal allergies you can get the jump on the season and
maybe celebrate the season change more whole heartedly.
A Snoring Solution
DR. Michael Kane
Simon is a 42 year old man with a chronic history of nasal congestion. His
congestion makes it so that he has trouble breathing through his nose
especially at night. This causes him to breathe through his mouth and
causes him to snore at night. He often will sleep alone because his
partner can’t stand his loud snoring.
The chronic congestion has been going on for years, he cannot remember
when it stated. He does not notice any seasonal variation, but he does report
having more of an issue during the winter with recurrent bouts of viral
He has tried some over the counter decongestants and they have made him
drowsy so he stopped using them.
We decided to complete some environmental allergy and food sensitivity
testing on him. The testing revealed that he had a number of environmental
allergies, the highest being dust mites, he also was reactive to mold,
grasses and tree pollen. So pretty much an allergy for every season.
He had no immediate food allergies but he had a few food sensitivities.
The blood tests revealed he had very high IgG antibodies to dairy and corn.
He avoided dairy and corn for 4 weeks.
He also purchased dust mite covers for his mattress and pillows.
He started doing a nasal wash daily with a Neti pot.
He stated a supplement called Aller C (querctin and vitamin c) which helps
tone down the reactivity of the immune system to his triggers.
In three weeks time, he reported a 75 % reduction in his congestion.
His snoring resolved completely.
He also discovered that if he went into his damp basement he would notice
an immediate plugging up of his nasal passages. We talked about ways to
decrease the moisture and the mold supporting environment. Running a
dehumidifier in the basement helped reduce the moisture content and fixing a
gutter helped reduce the water that was leaking into the basement as well.
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