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My Itchy Eyes!

 

Last updated 4/14/2021 at 9:41am | View PDF

Nothing is more beautiful than seeing everything regrow during the spring season. The weather is warmer, and we can start opening the windows and taking off the layers. This also means...yep, it's allergy season! Some people experience allergy reactions throughout the entire year, some only during fall or spring. My personal experience is that as I grew older, I began experiencing itchy eye allergies in the spring, and scratchy throat allergies in the fall.

If you're one of the lucky ones that isn't affected by the blossoming trees, consider yourself lucky! Allergies are something that can affect anyone at any age, and sometimes it may even bother you early in life and then go away. If you're not the kind of person who wants to hide inside during this time to avoid pollen and such, then I am here to share some things that I recommend to students and that have helped me through the years to get me to a point where I rarely suffer.

Now, let's be clear, you should always consult your physician if you suffer from any health issues at all (even seasonal allergies), and sometimes over-the-counter medicine is necessary. I am here to talk about some alternatives or prevention, to help you through the thick of it! Here's the thing, when we suffer it affects every other area in our life and we just feel...blah. Life doesn't change for us just because we can't breathe through our nose or because we have a pounding headache, so finding solutions that work is pretty important.

Let's begin with prevention. My allergy life changed when I began using a neti pot with a saline rinse. This is harder to use once congestion exists, but if you have spring allergies and you begin using it while there's still snow on the ground (for example), then you will most likely notice a difference. A neti pot is a small container with a spout that is placed in your nostril while you gently tip your head to allow the rinse to flow in one nostril and out the other. This may sound strange, but trust me, it's better than not being able to breathe! Also, you can find all kinds of high-tech neti pots these day that do the work for you. Sometimes trying something new like this can be strange and unusual, but give it a fair shot if you want to see results!

Another great preventative remedy that is finally gaining more popularity is elderberry syrup. You might have heard of this all-natural remedy to help with your immune system during cold and flu season (and for general wellness in the body); but if you buy your elderberry syrup locally with honey produced from local bees, you will have built some immunity to local pollen, becoming less sensitive to this pollen.

The winter season isn't the only time to run a humidifier (especially in Colorado), since this will help with dryness sometimes associated with the symptoms of seasonal allergies. I also like to run an oil diffuser along with a humidifier, because breathing in oils such as eucalyptus and peppermint can have a cooling effect to help with congestion. This is a practice that you can use at the same time as my next, and last, recommendation – movement. Yoga in particular has been shown to have a stabilizing effect on the immune system, so the overall health it provides for the respiratory system can also help with the prevention and management of allergy symptoms. Your movement practice doesn't have to be rigorous, just keeping the body from getting sluggish helps with blood flow and prevents allergens from gathering in a fixed position. Go for a walk, dust off your bike or take a jog on your favorite trail (just maybe use the neti pot before you go!)

Remember, these recommendations can be really, REALLY useful, but look at them as a way to manage your symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no cure for allergies, but even bringing awareness to (and maybe documenting) the time of the year you are affected by seasonal allergies – and how – can help you manage your symptoms and keep you prepared so you can find some relief.

Happy spring!

Jennifer Clark is owner & director of Education at ZENner mobile yoga

107 E. Ohio Avenue, Fountain, CO 80817 / (719) 217-0149

 

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