Your Guide to Navigating Spring Allergies in North Carolina

Your Guide to Navigating Spring Allergies in North Carolina

seasonal allergies

Anyone who steps foot into North Carolina this time of year will marvel at the fine yellow dust that covers literally everything in sight. It’s everywhere, and for one solid month, it is relentless. 

POLLEN – our seasonal arch nemesis has arrived. 

We see many patients at Brookview Wellness struggling with Spring allergies. Let’s explore why they affect us so profoundly and explore ways to mitigate their impact through natural remedies and lifestyle adjustments.

What is Pollen & Why is it Such a Menace?

Pollen is a fine, powdery substance produced by the male part of flowering plants, including many trees, grasses, and weeds common in North Carolina. Its primary role is to fertilize other plants of the same species. During this process, it often ends up in our noses, throats, and eyes, leading to allergic reactions.

In North Carolina, springtime is particularly challenging due to the high pollen counts from trees like oak, pine, and birch, followed by grasses as the season progresses. The warm, windy weather typical of our region helps to disperse pollen widely, increasing exposure and the severity of allergic reactions.

What Causes the Reaction?

Allergic reactions occur when our immune system mistakenly identifies pollen as a harmful invader, triggering a response to attack it. This response includes the release of histamine, a compound that causes the all-too-familiar symptoms of seasonal allergies: sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy eyes, and sometimes even asthma.

How to Avoid and Mitigate Exposure to Pollen

Reducing exposure to pollen can significantly alleviate the severity of allergic reactions. Here are some practical tips to minimize your contact with pollen:

Stay indoors on High-Pollen Days: Keep windows and doors closed, especially on dry, windy days. Stay inside during early morning hours when pollen counts are highest.

Use Air Purifiers: Equip your home with HEPA filters or air purifiers to capture pollen and other allergens.

Clean Regularly: Dust and vacuum your home frequently using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to remove pollen particles.

Shower Before Bed: Pollen can accumulate on your skin and hair. It’s beneficial to shower before bed to avoid transferring pollen to your bedding.

Wear Protective Gear: If you need to be outdoors, consider wearing glasses and a hat to keep pollen away from your eyes and hair. Changing clothes after returning indoors can also help.

Natural Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

In Functional Medicine, we focus on holistic and natural approaches and solutions. Here are some natural remedies to help manage Spring allergies:

Quercetin: This natural compound in foods like onions, apples, and berries can help stabilize mast cells and reduce histamine release.

Nettle Leaf: Nettle leaf can be taken in capsule or tea form. It’s known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help alleviate allergy symptoms.

Local Honey: Consuming local honey may help your body adapt to the local pollen and reduce allergic reactions. It’s like a natural form of immunotherapy.

Probiotics: A healthy gut can contribute to a more robust immune system. Probiotics found in yogurt, kefir, and fermented foods can help balance your gut flora and potentially reduce allergy symptoms.

Nasal Irrigation: Using a saline solution to flush out the nasal passages can remove pollen and reduce irritation.

Fish Oils – Fish oils can be beneficial in managing seasonal allergies due to their omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA. These fatty acids have properties that can mitigate the symptoms of seasonal allergies.

Gluten and Dairy-Free Diet – This nutritional plan will stop allergies if you commit to about 1-2 years, but is worth it! 

D-Hist – Available on Fullscript – message to have an account set up. 

Pollen can be a nuisance, especially in the lush landscapes of North Carolina. Understanding its impact and how to manage exposure can greatly improve your quality of life during allergy season. Embracing natural remedies and making simple lifestyle adjustments can help you enjoy the beauty of spring without the burden of allergies. Stay healthy and breathe easy!

If you’d like to explore how Functional Medicine can help with allergies and optimize other areas of your health, schedule a Discovery Call with Dr. Brooke to get started. 

Disclaimer: This blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or for use in diagnosis or treatment.