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Top 5 Ways to Prepare for Allergy Season

Runny nose, itching eyes, sneezing… with the buds and leaves abloom, allergies are also in full force here in the Pacific Northwest. Recent information published from the Washington State Department of Health shares that: “Scientists have found that allergy seasons are getting longer and more severe. Human-caused climate change is the “dominant driver” of these longer pollen seasons and is a major reason for increasing concentrations of pollen. Compared to 30 years ago, the pollen season is starting 20 days earlier and lasting for almost a month longer. This is mainly because of increasing temperatures from climate change.” Obviously, allergies are one tiny piece of this dilemma, but with great impact on daily life. What can be done to keep those allergy symptoms at bay? First off, figure out what you are allergic to. Knowledge is power and if your allergies are causing a ruckus and you aren’t sure what the aggravating factors are, consider skin scratch allergy testing. This procedure, offered at North Seattle Natural Medicine and very often covered by insurance, introduces a tiny amount of a variety of the most common environmental allergens in the Pacific Northwest, via a gentle skin “scratch”. It is painless and generally very well-tolerated, and can be completed in a one-hour visit with your doctor.

Next up, treatment: 1.) Spring cleaning: do a deep sweep, mop, dust and vacuum of your home to remove dust and mold, keeping up the routine 1 time each week 2.) Wash bedding (sheets, blankets, pillowcases) in hot water that is at least 130 degrees (Fahrenheit) 1 time each week to rid dust mites 3.) Consider a HEPA grade air filter for your bedroom or whatever room you spend the most time in, within your home 4.) Nettles: this lovely plant, native to the Pacific Northwest, has a powerful anti-histamine property. Available in tea, tincture, or freeze-dried capsules, this is a great addition to the daily Springtime routine.

5.) Sublingual immunotherapy: This innovative treatment is a lovely alternative to allergy shots. It works in a similar way by introducing small doses of applicable allergens to your body, thus increasing immunity, or tolerance, over time. North Seattle Natural Medicine partners with a pharmacy who offers this treatment option. If you have questions, please reach out to your practitioner. NW Asthma and Allergy offers a very useful daily pollen count tracker here: Keeping tabs on this allows you to tailor your plans on days when particular pollen counts are high. With the tools above, you can get on top of your allergies early in the game! For more information about skin scratch allergy testing and/or allergy treatments specific to your needs, please reach out via the Contact page, or by calling North Seattle Natural Medicine at 206.629.5180.

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