The spring is here. Time to enjoy the great outdoors after a long, cold and wet winter.
But for a lot of us it is the season for sneezing, itchy eyes and runny nose. Tree pollen are everywhere. And there is no joy in going outside.
So what could be done to enjoy the fresh air and spring sun?
Start with minimizing your risk of getting allergies by limiting use of antibiotics, that kill bad as well as good protective bacteria.
Of course we can simply flush away allergens by using Saline nasal irrigation.
You can limit exposure to allergens by closing windows, using an air conditioner with a HEPA filter attachment, and limiting time spent outdoors during high-pollen days. Wearing sunglasses and a hat helps keep pollen out of our eyes and hair, and showering before bed prevents transfer to bedding, which should be washed in hot soapy water weekly. Experts also recommend limiting close contact with pets that spend time outdoors.
75 percent of people in the United States who suffer from fall allergies are allergic to ragweed.
Nearly a third of ragweed allergy sufferers also experience an allergic response to certain foods. These include cucumbers, melons, zucchini, sunflower seeds, bananas and chamomile tea, so avoid them.
Take prebiotics, fermented food, and fermentable fiber, like plantains, cassava, baked apples, or sweet potatoes. [1,2]
Strengthen your immune system:
- avoid physical and emotional stress,
- get enough sleep, at least 7-8 hours every night, some people need up to 9 hours,
- exercise regularly,
- eat phytonutrients reach ”rainbow” diet,
- avoid processed food, dairy,
- limit simple carbohydrates, like sugar, pasta, sweetened beverages, juices, soft drinks,
- increase consumption of fish and fish oil,
- eat certain spices, like ginger, turmeric, garlic, onions, horseradish, cinnamon,
- drink bone broth.
Eat local raw honey. It contains both beneficial bacteria and trace amounts of pollen picked up by the bees from local plants. Consuming raw honey produced in your area can help to “train”your immune system to tolerate these local pollen. 
Add different antioxidants and supplements to your diet that have been shown to be beneficial in decreasing of inflammation, histamine production, which causes all the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. These include:
- Vitamin C 
- Citrus Bioflavonoids in combination with Vitamin C 
- Omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil)
- Stinging nettle
- Reishi mushrooms
Multiple herbs proven to be beneficial as well:
- Fritillaria thunbergii (Fritillaria) is a potent cough suppressant, also helps with shortness of breath and phlegm production.
- Solidago virgaurea supplies flavonoids, saponins and phenol glycosides, that help with allergies.
- Scutellaria baicalensis (Baikal Scullcap) possesses anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-allergic properties.
- Euphrasia officinalis (Eyebright) helps with inflamed eyes, coughs, colds and catarrh (inflammation of mucous membrane). It is useful if an allergic response is the basis for sinusitis.
- Morus alba (White Mulberry) is used as an expectorant for asthma, bronchitis, cold and cough and indigestion.The fruit also contains a significant amount of antioxidant resveratrol.
- And others
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar showed significant improvement as well.
Also some homeopathic preparations found to be helpful.
Acupuncture has been used for centuries to treat allergy symptoms.
And of course keep your house clean and dry to avoid clutter and mold.
For more healthy lifestyle recommendations, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Koganski at 215-750-7000 or www.newtowninternalmedicine.com.
 Furrie E1. Probiotics and allergy. Proc Nutr Soc. 2005 Nov;64(4):465-9.
 Trompette A. et al, Gut microbiota metabolism of dietary fiber influences allergic airway disease and hematopoiesis. Nat Med. 2014 Feb;20(2):159-66.
 Saarinen K, et al. Birch Pollen Honey for Birch Pollen Allergy – A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. Int Arch Allergy Immunol 2011;155:160–166.
 Bucca C, et al. Effect of vitamin C on histamine bronchial responsiveness of patients with allergic rhinitis. Ann Allergy 1990;65:311–4.
 Kobayashi S,et al. Evaluation of the anti-allergic activity of Citrus unshiu using rat basophilic leukemia RBL-2H3 cells as well as basophils of patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis to pollen. Int J Mol Med. 2006 Mar;17(3):511-5.
 Kohlhammer Y., et al.Influence of physical inactivity on the prevalence of hay fever.Allergy, 61: 1310–1315. doi:10.1111/j.1398-9995.2006.01131.x