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Spring is a beautiful time of year, but for some people, spring also brings seasonal allergies. Allergies aren't just annoying—they can impact your daily functioning and limit your enjoyment of this lovely season.
It can be hard to "stop and smell the flowers" when you have symptoms like sneezing, itching, inflammation, and congestion. If you're one of these people, we have some tips on how to thrive with spring allergies this season.
How Are Allergies and the Immune System Connected?
The immune system is responsible for fighting off infections and foreign substances, allergens included. It's made up of two parts: the innate immune system and the adaptive immune system.
The innate immune system is a first line of defense, using antibodies to tag invaders, then attacking them with cells like macrophages that engulf invaders.
Your immune system can also release white blood cells, which in turn release chemicals like histamines when they come across an invader.
The adaptive immune system works more like detectives -- it looks at specific antigens on the surface of cells and makes long-lasting memories so it can recognize those cells later on.
This means you don't need to produce new antibodies every time you get sick. Instead, your body learns how to attack those specific pathogens based on prior experience with them (or something similar).
If you're allergic to pollen, which is a common springtime allergy, the best way to avoid it is to reduce your exposure.
- Keep your windows closed as much as possible.
- Reduce the amount of time you spend outside (or at least avoid being outdoors during peak pollen times).
- Use a good quality air filter in your home or office: HEPA filters are great for trapping allergens and keeping them from circulating through the room.
- You could also try using an ionizer or purifier with an electrostatic charge that attracts airborne particles onto its surface where they can be collected by vacuuming them up later (this method works especially well when combined with HEPA filtration).
Zinc is an essential mineral that's involved in many processes in the body, including your immune system. Zinc supports your immune system by encouraging healthy white blood cell function.
It can be found in a variety of foods, but you may need to take a supplement if you don't get enough zinc from food sources.
Vitamin C and D3
Vitamin C and D3 supplements can support a strong, healthy immune system as well.
Vitamin C is known to act as a natural antihistamine and antioxidant, and studies show it may support the immune system in countering symptoms of allergies like inflammation and swelling.
According to research by the CDC, Vitamin D3 may aid immune function when taken regularly over time. It supports a healthy immune response when foreign bodies like allergens enter the body, and a supplement can be especially helpful for people in colder, less sunny climates who may not get enough sunlight to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D on their own.
If you're suffering from seasonal allergies, acupuncture may be able to help. While acupuncture cannot cure conditions, it can be used to alleviate symptoms in many situations, including seasonal allergies.
While research has yet to prove conclusively whether acupuncture works for treating seasonal allergies (or anything else), many people have found it to be helpful after having treatments performed by an experienced practitioner.
So, if you've got spring allergies that are keeping you indoors and miserable this year, consider giving this ancient Chinese practice a try!
Self-Care to Minimize Stress
The stress and frustration of allergies can be managed with some effort and self-care. If you have allergies, don't let them keep you from enjoying the outdoors or your life.
Here are some self-care tips:
- Don't forget to take your allergy medication before going outside. This will help prevent symptoms from getting worse so that they won't bother you as much during the day (or night).
- Keep water on hand and hydrate—you'll need it when those sneezes and coughs start kicking in!
- Also, try taking breaks inside if possible. This will give your nose a chance to rest up before heading back out into pollen-filled air again later in the day or evening hours when pollen counts tend to be highest outside.
EZ Immunity Support
Springtime is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, but allergies can be a strain on the quality of your life if left unmanaged.
We’ve combined our top three supplement picks for immune support into a bundle, so you can have all three delivered right to your door. Our Essential Immune Bundle includes Vitamin D3, Vitamin C, and Zinc, so you feel comfortable going outdoors this spring.
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