Anyone with an allergy can commiserate that spring is not really the best time to be out and about. While nature unfolds from its winter hiatus, so do rashes, sneezing, itchiness, watery eyes and difficult breathing appear.
Allergies are some of the most common, and most dreaded, things a person can have.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that nearly one-third of US adults, and around two in five children, have some kind of allergy.
With the current climate changes, allergy rates are likely increase.
According to Live Science, The most prevalent allergy triggers are weeds, mold, dust mites, grass and pollen. The most common food allergies, says Medical News Today, are caused by eggs, fish, milk, nuts from trees, peanuts, shellfish, soya and wheat.
The most popular form of treating allergies is through drugs. The market for antihistamines, steroids, anti-inflammatories and other medications are a billion-dollar industry in the US alone. While immediately effective, the use of anti-allergy drugs may actually be more harmful rather than helpful, especially in the long-term.
When an allergy trigger enters the system, such as sniffing pollen or animal dander, the body produces histamines to flush these invaders out. But when a person’s system is unbalanced, histamine production goes into overdrive, creating too much so quickly that the body reacts. This produces rashes, watery eyes, sneezing and other symptoms.
Antihistamines stop these reactions. However, the body is unclear on why these symptoms have gone away, and continue to produce histamines. The drugs continue suppressing these histamines, until they wear off. Then the allergies return, and more often than not, someone experiencing them turns to more powerful drugs.
Drugs are vitally important and life-saving in extreme allergic reactions like bee stings or peanut allergies. However, extended use of antihistamines may lead to the body eventually being immune to these medications, or a dependency on these drugs. Ideally, chronic allergies should be treated by minimizing exposure to allergens, and preparing the body to respond to these triggers over time.
Natural allergy supplements may also help block the body’s reactions to allergens. These can be found in drugstores and health food stores. However, it is best to consult a physician or an expert in alternative medicine before trying natural supplements, as some may contain substances that will induce, rather than reduce, allergic reactions.
A list of natural ingredients that may help with allergies can be found on Web MD.