Is your quality of life affected by allergies? They can get so severe that one survey of suffers (A. Vogel, U. of AZ) showed surprising numbers: 44.6% had to skip a social invitation and 81.2% had to alter their exercise schedule.

There are many possible culprits:

– pollen/mold spores are lowest December thru February

– seasonal illnesses especially respiratory illness caused by viruses in fall and winter trigger asthma and sinusitis

– outdoor pollution including winter temperature inversions, make air quality poor especially with particulates and nitrogen dioxide.

– indoor pollutants are worst in winter with closed windows and doors.

Personal experience knowledge and practicing as a physician I know everyone’s allergen and reaction is different not just in degree but also in response to aging. What helps one person doesn’t another even from same allergen.

Please do not buy into one fix for everyone. You can do much without OTC pills or ‘shots’ from a doctor. Boost your immunity, use natural means: get some exercise, eat healthy, and sleep well. Butterbur an herb was found to help after being extensively studied. Natural strategies include rinsing/opening your nasal passages: xylitol based spray (I like ‘saline mist’ can not overdue its use); some use may use neti pot. Many friends find a solution in consuming local honey as it contains tiny amounts of pollen that acts as a vaccine.

An anti-inflammatory diet has a role: garlic, salmon oranges apples drink green tea to name a few. Don’t forget the teas with licorice rosehip or nettle can be helpful.

If you are into supplements to boost immunity or to act as anti-inflammation you must start a few weeks before ‘season’ begins. My ‘cure’ is Vitamin C at a megadose (3,000 mg/day). There is no chance of overdosing (although may get loose stools) it is a water-soluble vitamin and if your body does not need it will be eliminated in your urine.

There are more natural approaches including probiotics,  bromelain and quercetin to name a few, explore what may help your allergies. Have a listen to my podcast on this topic (iTunes  or RSS feed).Take control of your allergies, I use Web MD Allergy App it is a helpful tool. Check out your smartphone’s App store for an App that you find useful. You get the idea investigate and in this condition less is more in the case of allergies and natural is best!