Spring Weather Brings Allergy Symptoms for Many

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For people with seasonal allergies, this lovely spring weather can lead to some unpleasant symptoms.  Seasonal allergies related to pollen can affect us in the spring, summer, or fall.  The predominant pollens right now in Massachusetts are tree pollens, such as Cedar, Juniper, and Poplar.   Grass pollens will be higher in the summer, and weed pollens are predominant in autumn.  Mold spores can also be an issue in humid weather.

Children and adults of any age can develop seasonal allergies, even if they had been allergy-free for their entire life.  Sometimes a new home, work environment, or pet can trigger the onset of allergies.  Other times, there is no known cause.

Many people confuse allergy symptoms with the common cold.  Symptoms can include nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and itching.  If your symptoms seem to come on at the same time every year and linger, they may be caused by allergies, not a cold.

The most common advice for allergy sufferers is to avoid the allergen.  While this is good advice, it is not always practical, especially with an allergen as prevalent as pollen.  You can reduce your exposure by investing in a high-quality air filter, keeping windows closed while you sleep, and avoiding exercising outside when pollen counts are high.

Here are a few other tips for surviving allergy season:

·         Avoid mucus- producing foods such as dairy and sugar (including fruit juices)

·         Use a nasal rinse such as Sinucleanse

·         Help unblock your sinuses by keeping your neck and facial muscles relaxed

·         Investigate acupuncture, homeopathy, and other alternative treatments

·         Try Chinese herbal medicine (if prescribed by a Licensed Acupuncturist), such as Bi Yan Pian, available at River Valley Acupuncture

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