Yep, spring has sprung. The evidence is all around us, the flowers are cropping up as are the pile of tissues in the garbage from overworked sinuses. It seems we’ve emerged from hibernation this winter all excited to breathe the fresh air and totally forgot about the one two punch mother nature can bring in spring.
One week’s Family Forum discussed how best to prepare for catastrophic natural and man made elements, this week we’ll explore how to protect your families from the basic seasonal elements – allergies!!
Allergies only seem to be getting worse and there’s great debate about whether the reasons are attributed to diet, environmental factors or other stressors. I’d bet it’s a combination of all three.
I had a conversation with my children’s pediatrician, Dr. Arnold Goldman, whose practiced for over 30 years in Roslyn, who basically confirmed that there is an allergy for all seasons.
Dr. Goldman explained how the seasonal allergy chart looks like this “in late January early Feb the tree allergies begin. Even when the trees are covered with snow, they are still budding. Then with April begins the grass allergies which overlap the tee allergies and by the end of May, all of the beautiful May Flowers brings the pollen to last the summer. Then the fall brings on the ragweed allergies typically through October.” You may think you’re safe when the weather gets cold, but then you “face the indoor allergies such as dust and mold.”
We are constantly battling indoor and outdoor allergies and praying that our filters are clear. Dr. Arnold mentioned the medical jargon for shadows under the eyes are called “allergic shiners” and when you’re child is rubbing his eyes it’s the “allergic salute”.
Oh how we love our lawns, flowers and beautiful trees here in Port Washington, and flying all the windows open to welcome in the spring air we’ve been waiting all winter for. All major contributors to the allergy factors.
Ever try to work when your head feels like a bowling ball? Not fun. Our kids feel the same way – a big challenge for kids sitting in school, trying to pay attention to the teacher. Typical signs of allergies are – “coughing, sneezing, sleepless nights, stuffy or runny nose, wiping face (manic allergic saluting)”.
About two weeks ago, I was so stuffed up my usually reliable Neti Pot went on strike. I was desperate, my nasal spray just seemed to bounce out, my allergy medication, kind of helped. I grabbed the vitamin C, downed green tea, and hot water with lemon by the gallon, busted out the spicy mustard and went straight to Bonsai for gobs of wasabi. I literally couldn’t even taste the wasabi, it was bad, real bad. I came home utterly defeated, head still swollen. Cold compress, not helping, warm compress, nope.
I was about to throw in the towel until I remembered aromatherapy. I heated up some water and dropped some peppermint oil in it and inhaled (lamely) but it worked! It finally broke through, for a whole solid minute! It took quite a few days for my sinuses to clear up, break through, drain, and then drain some more and return to normal.
So while you are gearing up your family to head outdoors and do some planting in your garden, what are your best protective measures for seasonal allergies?