Feeling like allergies are getting the best of you? You’re not alone. Especially during the spring and summer, allergies can be overwhelming and make life incredibly uncomfortable. Luckily, allergy suffers can find substantial relief from natural remedies.
- 1. Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2. Exercise
- 3. Local Honey
- 4. Neti Pot + Saline Rinse
- 5. Nasal Sprays
- 6. Bee Pollen
- 7. Acupuncture
- 8. Probiotics
- 9. Dietary Changes
- 10. IV Drip Therapy
- 11. Nettle Leaf
- 12. Water
- 13. Immunotherapy
- Allergy Symptoms Common in Santa Rosa
- Use an Elimination Diet to Identify Your Unique Triggers
- Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Can Change During Pregnancy
- Professional Allergy Relief
- Treating Children’s Seasonal Allergies Naturally
- Types of Allergies & the Most Common Symptoms
- 8 Natural Allergy Relief Remedies
- Treatment for a Child’s Allergy to Dust or Pollen
- What is avoidance?
- Medicine as treatment for allergy
- What are antihistamines?
- What are decongestants?
- What are nasal steroids?
- What are allergy shots (immunotherapy)?
- Are there side effects to immunotherapy?
- What are seasonal allergies?
- How can you minimize exposure to seasonal allergy triggers?
- How do you treat seasonal allergies?
- Remember: Read labels carefully for the active ingredient
- Subscribe to Health Tip of the Week e-newsletter
- 8 Home Remedies for Nasal Allergies
- Spicy Foods
- What are the Symptoms of Allergies in Children?
- What Are Common Allergens for Children?
- Five Tips for Reducing Allergies in Children:
- Natural Remedies for Children’s Allergies:
- Holistic Treatment for Children’s Allergies
- Children & Allergies
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar might just be the most useful condiment in your kitchen. It can help you clean showers and sinks. It’s wonderful in dressings. It adds a pop to marinades. It can remove odors from sweaty clothes, reduce heartburn, and treat dandruff. Like we said, it’s a rock star.
Apple cider vinegar is also an amazing natural allergy remedy, as it can help reduce mucous production and cleanse your lymphatic system. The quick and dirty approach is to swallow a tablespoon. For a more palatable option, try adding a tablespoon to a cup of hot water with a small bit of honey.
Getting your blood flowing can help your body regulate itself.
Yes, the last thing you probably want to do when you feel crummy is workout. But, researchers in Thailand found moderate to intense activity for just 30 minutes can result in substantial allergy relief. The hypothesis is that this relief occurs because exercise produces an anti-inflammatory effect in your nasal passages, helping to naturally reduce allergy symptoms.
If pollen counts are extremely high, an indoor workout will most likely be more beneficial as it will reduce re-exposure.
3. Local Honey
Allergy symptoms are your body’s reaction to a substance it deems hazardous to your health. The runny nose and watery eyes are your body’s attempt to flush the foreign substance from your system.
Unfortunately, you can’t simply tell your body that grass and pollen aren’t bad for it. But you can help your body learn that the local habitat isn’t deadly. You do so by giving your body small doses of the grass and pollen that are irritating it.
This is where local honey comes in so handy. Bees create their honey from what’s around. Thus, their honey contains trace amounts of the very pollen that could be making you feel sick.
While a tablespoon (or two) won’t immediately relieve your allergy symptoms, it can help naturally reduce your allergy symptoms over time. Start administering it immediately to begin seeing results.
4. Neti Pot + Saline Rinse
Your nasal passage is an elaborate system of tiny passageways. For most of us, these passageways are filled with nooks and crannies where dirt and pollen can easily be trapped.
Until that foreign substance is expelled, your body will most likely keep trying to flush it from your system. This can mean lots of mucous (aka a runny nose), coughing, sneezing, and watery eyes.
With a neti pot, you can use saline to flush your nasal passages and help relieve your allergy symptoms.
5. Nasal Sprays
Not sure you want to pour liquid in your nose? Don’t worry. You’re not alone. Neti pots aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. A nasal spray is an alternative. By spritzing saline solution in your nose once a day, you can help flush those same harmful irritants from your nasal passage.
6. Bee Pollen
Like honey, bee pollen contains the natural substances where the bees live. It offers an alternative way to introduce these substances into your immune system. Because sometimes we all want to add a little variety to out diets.
Great sprinkled on fruit or tossed in salad, it offers a bit of a sweet crunch.
Acupuncture treats a wide variety of health issues, including depression, digestive issues, pain, muscle weakness, and immune deficiency. And, as a study in the European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reveals, it can help naturally reduce allergy symptoms.
In some cases allergy symptoms are a result of your body’s immune system being imbalanced. This can cause you to have a more severe reaction to foreign stimuli – like pollen, dust, and grass.
Probiotics give your immune system a boost by introducing beneficial bacteria into your digestive tract. A good source of probiotics can be found in fermented foods, like kimchi. Kombucha is another great source of probiotics. Both make yummy additions to nearly any meal!
Filling your diet with healthy vegetables can help you get the key vitamins and nutrients you need to feel your best.
9. Dietary Changes
Our diet plays a huge roll in your overall health. It contributes to your mood and ability to get a full night’s rest. It’s a major factor in energy levels, skin appearance, and weight balance.
It can also play a big role in how our body handles allergies. The healthier you are, the better your body will respond. Additionally, some patients have found that certain foods can trigger more intense allergy symptoms. For example, many allergy sufferers experience an allergic response to the following foods:
- Sunflower seeds
10. IV Drip Therapy
When your body is missing key vitamins and nutrients, dietary changes and adding probiotics can often a long time to start having an effect. This means you’re stuck, suffering through the symptoms.
IV drip therapy bypasses your digestive tract, delivering they key vitamins and nutrients you need directly to where you need it. Administered through an IV in the comfort of our clinic, you can get a cocktail tailored just for you.
11. Nettle Leaf
Nettle leaf can help naturally block your body’s ability to produce histamine, which can provide allergy relief naturally. While you may be able to find nettle leaf grown locally, we think it’s easiest to buy it.
You can get it in capsules or buy the leaf whole, which is our preference. Steep it with peppermint leaves and a small amount of honey to create an herbal tea that will be as tasty as it is beneficial.
Staying hydrated can help you do everything from regulate your appetite to keep your nose from running.
Hydrate like it’s your job. That sounds simple, right? You’d be surprised how many people are dehydrated!
And, the side effects of being dehydrated are immense. It can cause you to be moody, make you hungrier, and make it harder to lose weight. Being dehydrated can make you tired and make it difficult for you to get a full night’s rest. It can cause headaches, breakouts, and bloating. And, it can heighten any allergy symptoms you’re experiencing.
In short, being dehydrated is bad for your health. The more water you can drink, the better you’re going to feel.
Like local honey, immunotherapy introduces small amounts of the allergen into your system to train your body’s immune system to have a better response. The treatment typically takes 3 to 5 years. However, once it’s done, most patients are allergy free for the rest of their life!
Every area of the country has its own unique pollens, making the allergy treatments unique. Working with a doctor in your area who is familiar with pollens and how to treat them can be the secret to success.
Allergy Symptoms Common in Santa Rosa
This last winter was one of the rainiest we’ve seen in a decade. The results have been beautiful. Sonoma County has been treated to lush countryside.
Unfortunately, as Mother Nature thrives, so does her pollen count. While spring and summer have been stunning, they’ve also been extremely difficult for allergy suffers in Santa Rosa.
Common seasonal allergy symptoms you may be experiencing could include:
- Runny nose
- Itchy and/or watery eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Sleep deprivation
- Heightened depression
- Decreased focus
- Ear infections
- Trouble breathing, especially during heavy exercise
To reduce the onset of symptoms, try to reduce your time spent outdoors. Keep the windows rolled up while driving. Wash your clothes, including outerwear, regularly. Avoid placing items on the grass.
If you exercise outdoors, consider doing so in the early morning or late afternoon when pollen counts are lower. Avoid foods that trigger a heightened allergy response. And, try to get a full eight hours of sleep. It’s a lot easier to take preventative measures than overcome allergy symptoms once they’ve set in.
By cutting common triggers from your diet and slowly adding them back in, you can see what affects you and how.
Use an Elimination Diet to Identify Your Unique Triggers
The list of foods that potentially trigger allergy symptoms is quite long. For most individuals, not every single one of the listed foods will actually be a trigger. The trick is to find your triggers and then avoid them.
An elimination diet is the best way to identify your trigger foods. These diets last 3 to 6 weeks, allowing your body to fully flush any harmful antibodies from your immune system.
In most cases, an elimination diet cuts:
- Refined sugar
- All packaged and/or processed foods
Then, you gradually add in these food groups and monitor how your body reacts. Yes, this can be a lot of work. And yes, it’s not always that easy. This is especially true if you like to dine out or at a friend’s house. However, the long-term benefit of going through an elimination diet is the ability to know how your own body works.
Maybe you have a mild reaction to dairy. Knowing this will allow you to weigh your love of ice cream against your distaste for allergy symptoms. The same is true of peanuts, refined sugar, and eggs. Knowing is always half the battle.
Your body’s ability to grow another human is pretty amazing, but all that work causes your body to change. Sometimes those changes can lead to unexpected side effects, like allergies.
Seasonal Allergy Symptoms Can Change During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is pretty amazing, what with the whole growing a human inside of you thing. But, it can also do strange things to your body that you’ve never experienced before. Not only does you body visibly get larger, your hormone levels will fluctuate.
In most instances, pregnant women will experience heighten responses to harmless substances like pollen. Stress and lack of sleep, another common occurrence during pregnancy, can also contribute to an increase in allergy symptoms. For pregnant women who suffer from asthma, seasonal allergies may be worse.
Prior to pregnancy many women may have found relief from over-the-counter and prescription allergy medications. Unfortunately, these medications are often not safe for those who are breastfeeding or pregnant.
Luckily, natural allergy remedies offer a safe way to seek relief.
As tough as you are, going it alone sometimes isn’t an option. A naturopathic doctor can help you find a natural way to treat your allergies.
Professional Allergy Relief
The immune system is incredibly complex. Each individual is unique. And the immune system proves that. Trying to navigate the subtle needs of your own unique system can sometimes be overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you interpret symptoms and identify their causes?
This is where the doctors at our naturopathic clinic can help. Unlike traditional medicine that just treats the symptoms, our doctors work closely with you to identify the root cause of your allergy symptoms.
Then, we help you find a natural solution that will restore you to your optimal well-being.
I want allergy relief!
Share on: Facebook Twitter
Enjoy this Article? Let’s Keep them Coming.
Make your health a priority. Get our latest updates sent to your inbox.
Naturopathic health care with compassionate integrative doctors who understand your unique medical needs.
Treating Children’s Seasonal Allergies Naturally
Seasonal allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, are an overreaction to substances that you breathe, causing an inflammatory response that affects the lining/mucus membranes of the nasal passages, sinuses, throat, eyes, Eustachian tubes and middle ear.
How Common are Seasonal Allergies?
According to the most recent US data (collected in 2012), seasonal allergies were reported in 9 percent of the pediatric population, and 7.5 percent of adults.
Outdoor seasonal allergies typically develop in children older than two years of age with the average onset occurring between four and six years of age. Indoor allergies can develop in children younger than two years of age. Seasonal allergies, on average, are diagnosed in children between eight and eleven years old. Having a personal or family history of other allergies (food), asthma, or eczema, increases the risk of developing seasonal allergies.
How Seasonal Allergies Affect Your Body
In susceptible people, the immune system overreacts to substances (allergens) that would not normally affect other people. Once the body recognizes the allergens as foreign, the immune system produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) that are specific for the allergen. Every time thereafter that the body is exposed to the allergen, the body makes IgE, which ultimately results in the release of inflammatory chemical mediators such as histamine, leukotrienes, prostaglandins, and cytokines. These inflammatory mediators then cause inflammation of the mucous membranes lining the nasal passages, sinuses, throat, eyes, Eustachian tubes, and middle ear, ultimately leading to typical allergy symptoms.
Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
While seasonal allergy symptoms can vary from person to person, typical symptoms include sneezing, itching (of nose, eyes, ears, and throat), runny nose, postnasal drip, sore throat, nasal congestion, headache, ear pain, watery eyes, red eyes, “allergic shiners,” and fatigue.
- Seasonal (highest pollen and mold counts are at night and early morning)
- Winter: None
- Spring: Grass pollen, tree pollen
- Summer: Ragweed, grass pollen, molds growing on leaves
- Fall: Ragweed, molds growing on leaves
- Perennial/ Year Round
- Pet dander (cats, dogs, furry animals and birds)
- Dust mites
- Molds growing on wallpaper, house plants, carpeting, and upholstery
- Feathers in pillows and down comforters (secondary to dust mite infestation)
Allergies can lead to Illness
Allergies can happen alone, but oftentimes will present in people who also have asthma (20%), and/ or eczema. When left untreated, allergy symptoms may lead to sinus infections, ear infections, chronic fatigue, mouth breathing, and sleep disturbance.
Seasonal Allergies can be diagnosed by several methods. The two most are a skin test, and a blood test called RAST Testing, which measures levels of IgE and potential allergens.
- Environmental control measures:
- Air purifier in the bedroom
- HEPA air filters on the furnace
- Vacuuming the bedroom often (and removal of carpeting)
- Dusting the bedroom often
- Laundering bed linens often, using the hottest water and dryer cycle possible
- Keeping windows and doors closed when the pollen count is high
- Using dust-mite proof mattress and pillow covers
- Leukotriene antagonists
- Nasal decongestants
- Intranasal steroid spray
- Intranasal cromolyn spray
- Short courses of oral steroids
- Allergy shots
- Sublingual, approved by the FDA in April of 2014 for adults and children over five years of age.
The approach to treating seasonal allergies successfully extends beyond controlling symptoms with medications designed to suppress the immune system. Not only is the immune system involved in seasonal allergies but the gastrointestinal system (GI) is thought to be as well. The GI houses more than 80% of the immune system. Optimal gut health is essential in maintaining optimal immune health. Inflammation of the gut may ultimately result in an overactive immune system, possibly contributing to allergies. Natural treatments include:
- Environmental control measures as above
- Neti-pot rinses: Add ¼ tsp of fine sea salt to 1 cup lukewarm sterile water and mix. Irrigate both nostrils daily.
- Identify and address potential food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities.
- Identify and address poor digestion: Suboptimal digestion may lead to increased inflammation of the gut, which may ultimately lead to an overactive immune system, possibly contributing to allergies.
- Support the gastrointestinal system:
- Eliminate potential food allergies/ intolerances/ sensitivities.
- Incorporate anti-inflammatory, nutrient-dense, and probiotic-rich foods into the diet, such as fermented foods and beverages, broths, healthy fats and oils, fiber, and antioxidant rich foods.
- Support the immune system:
- Foods high in antioxidants (Beta-carotene, Vitamin C, E, Zinc, Selenium), colorful fruits and vegetables, berries, greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Vitamin C: Antihistamine activity
- Vitamin D: Low levels of Vitamin D have been found in patients with Allergic Rhinitis.
- Quercetin: this bioflavonoid (antioxidant), derived from onions, shallots, organic tomatoes, and many other fruits, vegetables, leaves and grains, has anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Butterbur (Petasites hybridus): herb with anti-inflammatory activity as well as research-based efficacy in treating seasonal allergies.
- Nettles (Urtica dioica): herb with anti-inflammatory activity.
- N-Acetylcysteine: an amino acid that has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and mucolytic activity.
- Local honey
- Homeopathic Combination Allergy Remedies
- Individualized Homeopathic Remedy
Dr. Robin Russell is a Naturopathic Doctor specializing in Pediatrics and Women’s Health. She is Owner and a Physician at Natural Pediatric Medicine, LLC in Canaan, CT. Dr. Russell is also an Adjunct Faculty at the University of Bridgeport in their Masters of Nutrition program. She is a Board Member of the Connecticut Naturopathic Physicians Association as well as a Member of the Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Russell graduated from Bastyr University in 2005 and opened her practice in the Seattle area later that same year. After practicing Primary Care in WA for almost 8 years, Dr. Russell and her husband decided to return to CT to raise their children near family.
According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, 1 in 5 people, or an estimated 50 million Americans, suffer from some type of allergies. (1) The chances are high that you or someone you know suffers from allergies, whether seasonal allergies, food allergies or another type . Most people who are struggling with an allergy go to the doctor to be treated and are routinely given pharmaceuticals from acetaminophens to antihistamines, both of which may actually further aggravate the allergy symptoms they were given for. (2)
Is it that time of the year again? Time for congested sinuses, headaches, watery or itchy eyes and other signs of allergies? Before you know it allergy season will be upon us again, which means that millions of Americans are going to turn to Benadryl, Claritin and other medications to try and find some relief.
The good news is that you might not necessarily need to take any medications to control your allergy symptoms. There are many natural allergy relief remedies you can try first, such as using frankincense essential oil, eucalyptus oil and quercetin can help control your symptoms. Below you’ll learn about eight amazing, all-natural home remedies for allergies that can help provide fast relief.
Types of Allergies & the Most Common Symptoms
Allergies are a type of “bodily reactivity (hypersensitivity) to an antigen in response to a first exposure,” or an “exaggerated or pathological immunological reactions (as by sneezing, difficult breathing, itching, or skin rashes) to substances, situations, or physical states.” (3)
In other words, allergies are due to hypersensitivity of the immune system that causes damaging responses that can affect the whole body. Some of the most common causes of allergies? Things like pollen found outdoors, animal fur, dust or particular foods.
Allergy symptoms occur when your body responds to allergens by producing a chemical called histamine, which works by helping to counteract the allergen. The immune system causes allergic reactions by producing Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies that cause widespread symptoms. There are several broad categories of allergies, which include: (4)
- Seasonal allergies (also called rhinitis or hay fever), usually worsening when pollen levels increase or change, such as during the Spring or Fall
- Perennial allergies, occurring year-round
- Food allergies, such as shellfish allergies
- Drug/medication allergies
- Indoor allergies, such as to mold or dust
- Skin or eye allergies
- Pet/animal allergies, such as to dogs/cats, insects, etc.
- Anaphylaxis, which is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction in response to a number of different allergens
Symptoms caused by allergies vary from person to person, depend on what’s causing the allergic reaction, and will vary depending on how severe the allergy is. Common symptoms associated with allergies can include:
- Skin rash, redness, hives, dryness, peeling or itchiness
- Tingling or itchy sensations in the mouth and on the lips
- Swelling of the tongue, lip, throat or face
- Itchy nose, congestion and stuffiness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhea and abdominal cramps
- Coughing, wheezing and trouble breathing (symptoms of asthma that can sometimes be triggered by allergies)
- Dizziness, lightheadedness and in severe cases loss of consciousness
What Causes Allergies?
There are so many different things that can cause allergies that it can be hard to pinpoint which are contributing to your symptoms.
Some of the most common causes of allergies include: (5)
- Pollen, from trees, plants and grass
- Dust, including the kinds found around your home
- Certain foods, especially those known to cause the most food allergies including gluten, dairy, tree nuts (especially peanuts), eggs, soy and shellfish
- Insect bites and stings
- Animal fur and dander
- Certain medications, such as anitbiotics
- Latex, such as the kind used to make latex gloves or condoms
Conventional Treatments for Allergies
Allergies are typically treated in the following ways:
- Over-the-counter medications that serve as decongestants
- Antihistamines, which prevent the release of the chemicals that cause allergic reactions
- Immunotherapy drugs
- Eye drops
- Skin creams, including those containing anti-histamine or steroid compounds
- Corticosteroids to control inflammation
- Elimination diets (such as gluten-free or dairy-free diet) to manage food allergies
- Someone with severe allergies might also carry an emergency epinephrine auto-injector (Epipen) with them in case of an attack
In my opinion, the conventional treatment approaches above (besides an elimination diet) are not the best way to manage allergies because they don’t fix the underlying cause. When it comes to allergies, what’s important to understand is that when your immune system produces an allergic reaction to something it’s because it senses that something is not right within your body. Instead of only addressing the symptoms of allergies (itchy skin or watery eyes, for example), you need to uncover the root cause and build your natural defense system.
When we take prescribed medications for allergies, these can disturb natural processes of your immune system and have other deleterious effects like altering your pH balance. (6) To keep symptoms at bay, you will always have to take a drug because your body doesn’t learn how to adapt to allergens. Allergy drugs, drops and creams alleviate and hide symptoms, but they don’t address the fact that the problem still exists.
How can you get rid of allergies naturally without needing to rely on medications that can make you feel drowsy and uncomfortable? Watching what you eat, getting plenty of fresh air, and drinking enough water are some of the natural remedies that can relieve allergies by improving functions of the immune system.
8 Natural Allergy Relief Remedies
1. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory, Alkaline Diet
First and foremost, start eating an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce your risk for allergies and many other health problems. Caring for your body with nutrient-dense foods gives your immune system the ability to repair itself, bringing it back into balance so it can fight off common allergies in your environment. Here are some of the best foods and ingredients to incorporate into your diet to help you beat allergies:
- Garlic — What’s so fantastic about garlic? Garlic is a natural antibiotic that helps ward off infections, viruses and even allergies. Eating or juicing two raw cloves of this powerful antioxidant may literally keep the doctor away! Some people choose to take garlic supplements because they don’t want to smell like garlic, but the supplements do not work as well as the real herb does, so don’t be deceived by this. Raw garlic eaten every day will fight off all types of allergies because it boosts your immune system immensely.
- Lemons — As most of us know an alkaline body means better balance and immune function. Lemons and limes are excellent immune boosting little fruits and are used for various afflictions, including allergies. Both of these little fruits are loaded with vitamin C and immune-boosting antioxidants. Drinking lemon water throughout the day detoxifies the body and rids it of impurities. Mix the juice of one or two lemons or limes with olive oil to make a wonderful tasting dressing for salads and veggie sandwiches.
- Green leafy vegetables — Leafy greens (including spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine, arugula and watercress) are a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes that aid detoxification and help reduce inflammation.
- Probiotic-rich foods — Probiotic foods support immune health and can help to repair a damaged intestinal lining. Examples include kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, natto, yogurt, raw cheese, miso and kombucha.
- Bone broth — Bone broth, made from beef and chicken stock, is rich in many minerals and amino acids that support the healing of leaky, thereby helping to strengthen the immune system.
- Coconut milk — The best alternative for cow’s milk is coconut milk, which is free of dairy, lactose, soy, nuts and grains.
- Almond butter & seeds — For people allergic to peanuts and peanut butter, almond butter is a safe and healthy alternative that provides healthy unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, minerals like riboflavin and magnesium, and even some antioxidants. Flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also great sources of healthy fats and fiber.
- Gluten-free flours/grains — Instead of using wheat flour when you cook or bake, try coconut flour, almond flour, spelt flour, oat flour and rice flour, which are all gluten-free.
- Breast milk — Studies shows that exclusive breastfeeding seems to have a preventive effect on the early development of asthma and atopic dermatitis.
2. Local Raw Honey (Bee Pollen)
Considering how good it tastes, having some raw honey every day to help control seasonal allergies may sound too easy to actually work well, but don’t discount this ancient remedy. Taking a tablespoon of local, raw honey every day will help your body build a tolerance to the local pollen that is running amuck on your sinuses.
The International Archives of Allergy and Immunology published an article in 2011 that tested how pre-seasonal use of birch pollen honey affected people with birch pollen allergies. They discovered that patients taking honey “reported a 60 percent lower total symptom score, twice as many asymptomatic days, and 70 percent fewer days with severe symptoms.” And they used 50 percent less antihistamines compared to the control group that took conventional meds. (7) I recommend taking one tablespoon of RAW local honey daily, such as by stirring some into tea, adding some to oatmeal along with cinnamon, or putting some in your smoothies.
What makes raw honey so powerful at reducing allergies? One reason is because it contains bee pollen, which is known to ward off infections, allergies,and boost immunity. The bees living in your area go from flower to flower collecting pollen that you are suffering from. It would make sense then that eating local raw honey will help build up your immunity to local pollen. Honey also contains many enzymes that support overall immune function.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
For many years I have recommend apple cider vinegar, and now you can find it almost everywhere. Drinking a glass of water with a teaspoon of ACV and some fresh lemon juice is one of the best ways to wake up every morning. At the first sign of an allergy attack, put one teaspoon of ACV in your neti pot solution for a natural “sinus flush.”
Quercetin is naturally found in plant foods such as cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli or cauliflower), onions/shallots, green tea and citrus fruits. Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that stabilizes the release of histamines and helps to naturally control allergy symptoms.
A recent study found evidence that quercetin is effective at reducing allergies because it helps calm down hyperactivity of the airways. It is so powerful that Iranian researchers have proven that quercetin can help control peanut allergies, the leading cause of life-threatening/fatal allergy attacks. (8) Various sources suggest that it is best to use quercetin as a long-term remedy, since it can take several months of use to start working. People prone to seasonal allergies should start to take them a few weeks before spring arrives when trees and plants start to bloom.
5. Neti Pot
Neti pots are a natural remedy for allergies and many respiratory conditions because they help to clear the sinuses and remove congestion. Use of neti pits has been shown to help improve quality of life in sufferers of respiratory illnesses and cause little to no side effects. (9, 10) Clearing the nasal passages of allergens and irritants, this form of “sinus irrigation” originated in the Ayurvedic medical tradition hundreds of years ago. People living in India have been receiving astounding results from using neti pots for centuries, and now you can, too.
Thankfully, this “alternative” approach to preventing congestion and allergies has now become more mainstream. David Rabago, MD, has conducted several studies on the subject and has proven clinically that using a neti pot is beneficial for preventing and treating several upper respiratory conditions, including chronic and acute sinusitis, the common cold and seasonal allergies. (11)
When you use a neti pot, make sure that the water is distilled and as sterile as possible. Tap water is full of chlorine and fluoride and can actually aggravate your sinuses, so it shouldn’t be used. If you don’t want to use a neti pot, you can also try a salt water sinus rinse by mixing sea salt with warm water and sucking it up one nostril.
6. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle has a rich history of medicinal use dating back to medieval Europe, where it was used as a diuretic to relieve people of joint pain and fluid retention (edema). According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, studies suggest that stinging nettle can effectively treat a wide range of health concerns including: (12)
- Urinary problems like urinary tract infections
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Joint pain, sprain and strains
- Insect bites
Research has specifically shown that stinging nettle leaf naturally controls histamines, which is why a growing number of doctors recommend taking a freeze-dried preparation before hay fever season begins. It can also be used as a tea or in tincture form.
7. Eucalyptus Oil & Frankincense Oil
One interesting study evaluated the effect that various essential oils had in killing the highly allergic house mites and found that eucalyptus oil ranked amongst some of the most potent. (13) Essential oils for allergies work by reducing inflammation and improving detoxification of harmful bacteria, parasites, microorganisms and toxins that can trigger an attack. You can use eucalyptus oil for seasonal allergy relief in a variety of ways:
- You can put several drops of eucalyptus oil into your neti pot, inhale it via a diffuser, or use it in your laundry detergent as an antimicrobial agent.
- For an eco-friendly, biodegradable addition to your natural detergents, add 25 drops of eucalyptus oil to each load of wash during allergy season, especially if you or the kids are running around outside.
- If your allergy symptoms are going strong, mix eucalyptus oil with coconut oil and rub it on your chest and behind your ears and diffuse it in the air during the day and while sleeping.
Another powerful essential oil for managing allergies is frankincense oil. The almost unbelievable cancer-killing capacity of Indian frankincense has been well established in scientific literature for several years, but its life-giving power doesn’t end there.
- In a study published by Phytotherapy Research, when mice took 1–10 milligrams of frankincense orally, it was discovered that multiple levels of their immune systems were stimulated including IgG, IgM and interferon. (14) This means that frankincense has seriously powerful effects when it comes to supporting the immune system.
- To implement it into your natural health regimen, simply rub frankincense behind your ears and on your chest several times per day, or diffuse frankincense essential oil in your home and office for about three hours daily.
It’s now becoming common knowledge that a strong immune system starts with a healthy gut. More than 80 percent of your immune function is stored in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract! It should be no wonder that research keeps surfacing that links probiotic supplement use to reduced risk of allergies. (15)
Probiotics are beneficial “good bacteria” that live inside your GI tract and help defend you against infections, viruses, allergies and more. They are so effective that a study published in the journal Pediatrics discovered that women who regularly take probiotics during pregnancy significantly reduce their child’s risk of developing allergies. (16) I highly recommend getting your soil-based organisms through probiotics in supplement form or from probiotic foods, which are sold at farmer’s markets and can even be made from foods growing in your own local garden.
Precautions When Treating Allergies
When allergies are mild or moderate, they are usually not very threatening and go away with time. However, severe allergic reactions can be dangerous and require medical attention.
Anaphylaxis is the term for a severe allergic reaction, which can happen due to contact with food allergens, drugs/medications or insect stings. Symptoms usually affect the lungs, blood vessels or heart and can include: trouble breathing, tightness in the lungs, chest pains, blood pressure changes, dizziness, fainting, rash and vomiting. (17) If you or your child experience these symptoms, then head to your doctor or the emergency room right away to prevent complications.
Final Thoughts on Natural Allergy Relief
- Allergies are due to hypersensitivity of the immune system that causes the release of damaging histamines.
- Allergies can affect the whole body, especially the skin, eyes, nasal passageways and lungs.
- Some of the most common causes of allergies include pollen, animal fur, dust, mold, insect bites, medications or particular foods.
- For help with natural allergy relief, you can eat an anti-inflammatory diet, consume raw honey and apple cider vinegar, take quercetin supplements and stinging nettle, and use essential oils like frankincense and eucalyptus.
Before you start any treatment, visit a doctor to be sure allergies are causing your child’s troubles. Once you know he really has seasonal allergies, these quick tips can offer much-needed relief.
- Stay Inside. The best way to treat allergy symptoms is to avoid allergens to begin with. So when pollen counts soar, keep kids indoors as much as possible. Pollen is usually at its peak mid-morning, early evening, and when the wind is blowing.
- Use Saltwater. Having a plugged-up nose can be one of the toughest symptoms for children with allergies. For relief, older children might want to try nasal irrigation with a saline solution. You can buy saline at the drugstore or make your own by mixing in a squirt bottle 8 ounces of boiled water to 1 teaspoon non-iodized salt.
- Stay Hydrated. All that sneezing and blowing can leave a child parched. Keep a water bottle full and close to hand and encourage your children to keep sipping.
- Warm It Up. Steam from a warm shower or bath seems to offer allergy symptom relief for some so encourage kids to enjoy a little tub time. Just be careful to make sure the shower is not too hot.
- Keep It Cool. To keep pollen out when the weather’s hot, air condition your car and home and keep windows closed.
- Deal With Dry Air. A little moisture in the air makes breathing easier for most, so if the air in your house is dry, get a humidifier. But be careful: Humidity over 40% can encourage the growth of indoor allergens like mold and dust mites.
- Go Cold. When itchy eyes are driving your kid crazy, try a cold compress, which may help reduce the itch and soreness.
- Keep Your Hands to Yourself. Help kids to avoid rubbing their itchy eyes. Rubbing will only irritate them — and could make the itchiness even worse.
- Spice It Up. If your kids will eat spicy foods, a dish made with cayenne pepper, hot ginger, fenugreek, onions, or garlic may help thin mucus and clear nasal passages.
- Use Top Tissues. When kids’ allergies are at their peak, tender noses can get sore pretty fast. Look for tissues with lotion or aloe.
- Rub Jelly on It. And if your child’s nose is raw and red from blowing, you can soothe his sniffer with a dab of petroleum jelly.
- Gargle to Relieve Sore Throats. If drainage leaves your child with a sore throat, gargling with warm saltwater made of 1-2 tablespoons of table salt in 8 ounces of water may ease the pain.
- Drink Warm Tea. Drinking more fluids can also help soothe tender throats. Try a weak tea with honey and lemon. Bonus: The steam may relieve sinus congestion, too.
- Get Face Time. Warm compresses applied to the face may also help soothe a child’s sinus pressure and pain.
- Watch Out for Certain Foods. If your child is allergic to ragweed, he may also have an allergic sensitivity to some foods that may include bananas, melons, chamomile tea, sunflower seeds, and cucumbers.
Treatment for a Child’s Allergy to Dust or Pollen
Your child’s healthcare provider will consider your child’s age, overall health, how severe the allergic reaction was, and other factors when advising treatment. The most effective ways to treat allergies are:
Staying away from (avoiding) the allergen
Allergy shots (immunotherapy)
What is avoidance?
Avoidance means staying away from a substance that causes an allergic reaction.
Suggestions for staying away from some allergens include:
Stay indoors with the windows closed when the pollen count is high, and on windy days.
Control dust in the home, especially in your child’s bedroom.
When possible, remove wall-to-wall carpet, window blinds, and down-filled blankets or pillows.
Wash bedding, curtains, and clothing often. Use hot water. This helps get rid of dust mites.
Put dust mite covers on pillows and mattresses.
Use air conditioning instead of opening the windows.
Put a dehumidifier in damp areas of the home. Clean it often.
After playing outside on days when the pollen count is high, have your child take a shower. They should also wash their hair and change clothes.
Take vacations in places where pollen is not as common. This includes near the ocean.
Your child’s healthcare provider will also have other suggestions.
Medicine as treatment for allergy
For children who have allergies, there are many effective medicines. These are the most often used types. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against some over-the-counter medicines for babies and young children. Talk with your child’s healthcare provider before giving your child any over-the-counter medicines.
What are antihistamines?
Antihistamines are used to ease or prevent symptoms of hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and other allergies. They prevent the effects of histamine. This is a substance the body makes during an allergic reaction. Newer antihistamines cause less drowsiness than older ones. Ask your healthcare provider which antihistamine you should give your child. Antihistamines come in tablet, capsule, liquid, or injection form. They are available both over-the-counter and by prescription.
What are decongestants?
Decongestants treat nasal congestion and other symptoms of colds and allergies. They cause the blood vessels to narrow. This clears up of nasal congestion. Decongestants are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. The most often used forms are liquid, tablet, nasal sprays, or nose drops. The AAP does not recommend oral decongestants for children. They can cause a faster heart rate, hyperactivity, anxiousness, and problems sleeping. Nasal spray or nose drops should be used for only a short time. Regular use of decongestants in any form can cause symptoms to get worse. That’s because the body becomes dependent on the medicine.
What are nasal steroids?
Nasal steroids are not the same as steroids used in bodybuilding. These medicines control inflammation in the nose caused by allergies. They take a few days to work. And they are used daily on a regular schedule, not on an as-needed schedule. Many nasal steroids are now sold over the counter. Talk about these medicines with your child’s provider before using them.
What are allergy shots (immunotherapy)?
When staying away from allergens and taking daily medicine doesn’t work, allergy shots (immunotherapy) may be a treatment option. A mixture is made of the different pollens, mold spores, animal danders, and dust mites to which the child is allergic. This mixture is called an allergy extract. There is no medicine in the mixture. The mixture is injected under the skin, often in the fatty tissue in the back of the arm. It is not painful like an injection into the muscle. Over many months, the allergen dose is slowly increased. The child’s immune system builds up an immunity to the allergen. Injection schedules vary. But they start weekly while the doses are increased. Then they are given every other week and finally once a month.
About 80% to 90% of children improve with allergy shots. It often takes 12 to 18 months before definite reduction in allergy symptoms is noticed. In some children, a reduction in symptoms is seen in as soon as 6 to 8 months. After 5 years, most children can stop the treatment and still feel the benefits.
A tablet that dissolves under the tongue might be another way for your child to receive immunotherapy. But this treatment is only available for certain allergens.
Immunotherapy is only part of the treatment plan for allergic children. It takes time for this treatment to work. So your child will need to keep taking the allergy medicines as prescribed by their healthcare provider. It is also important to keep removing allergens, such as dust mites, from your child’s environment.
Are there side effects to immunotherapy?
There are 2 types of reactions to immunotherapy: local and systemic. The local reaction is redness and swelling at the injection site. If this keeps happening, then the extract strength or schedule is changed.
A systemic reaction may affect the whole body. Symptoms may include nasal congestion, sneezing, hives, swelling, wheezing, and low blood pressure. These reactions can be serious and even life-threatening. In rare cases this can lead to death. If a systemic reaction occurs, your child may keep taking shots. But the dosage will be lower.
If you have any questions about immunotherapy, talk with your child’s healthcare provider.
For many kids and adults, seasonal allergies are the pits. They can be unpleasant and difficult to manage. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), seasonal allergies may affect up to 40 percent of children and 30 percent of adults.
Also known as allergic rhinitis or hay fever, seasonal allergy symptoms usually start when airborne pollen from trees, grass, flowers and weeds enters the eyes, nose and throat and sets off an allergic reaction.
Let’s break down what seasonal allergies are, what you can do to minimize triggers, and how to treat your child’s allergy symptoms.
What are seasonal allergies?
Seasonal allergies strike at different times of the year, when trees, grass, flowers and weeds release pollen into the air to fertilize plants, and mold spores take flight to do the same. Also known as allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, seasonal allergy symptoms occur when airborne spores and pollen enter the eyes, nose and throat and set off an allergic reaction.
Symptoms include a stuffy or runny nose, congestion, sneezing, itchy eyes and nose, sore throat, chronic cough, and dark circles under the eyes.
It’s important to keep in mind that allergic rhinitis is more than just a mild annoyance. Some of the consequences of seasonal allergies in children include:
- Fatigue and poor concentration in school due to lack of sleep
- An increase in ear and sinus infections
- Asthma exacerbations triggered by uncontrolled allergies
- Disturbed sleep
- Behavioral issues
How can you minimize exposure to seasonal allergy triggers?
In springtime, pollen blankets everything in its path, from cars to clothing. What can you do to minimize your child’s exposure to allergy triggers? Here are some steps you can take to make your child more comfortable during allergy season.
- Have your child wash their hands and face as soon as they come in from playing outside so they don’t rub pollen in their eyes and nose.
- If your child’s eyes are puffy and swollen from pollen, start by rinsing their eyes gently using tap water. Have your child take a shower to remove all of the pollen they’ve been exposed to.
- Check the forecast for pollen levels, and limit outdoor activities when pollen counts are at their highest.
- Dry clothes in the dryer, not by hanging them outside, where they’ll get covered in pollen dust.
- Have your child take their bath at bedtime, which may help wash off allergens and prevent nighttime allergy problems.
- Keep windows in your home and car closed, which can lower your child’s exposure to pollen. Use air conditioning to keep your home and vehicle cool, but make sure it’s on re-circulating mode, if possible, to keep outdoor air out.
If your child has asthma in addition to seasonal allergies, these preventative measures can help reduce exposure to pollen and prevent asthma symptoms from worsening.
How do you treat seasonal allergies?
After you’ve taken steps to limit your child’s exposure to allergy triggers, choose a treatment that addresses specific symptoms. For example, by alleviating itchy, blurry eyes, you can improve your child’s sleep and mood.
There are a number of prescription and over-the-counter medications that can help relieve seasonal allergy symptoms. Be sure to talk to your family pediatrician about the best option for your child.
Read labels carefully for the active ingredient. Do not give your child more than one oral antihistamine at a time unless under the direction of a healthcare provider. However, most antihistamine eye drops and nose sprays can be given together along with an oral antihistamine.
Itchy, swollen eyes
Oral medication will not work as effectively as topical eye drops. Avoid the use of any product that contains a vasoconstrictor (look on the label or ask your pharmacist) for more than two to three days to avoid rebound redness. Rebound redness is the recurrence of symptoms and can lead to eyes becoming dependent upon eye drops.
If your child wears contact lenses, make sure they can be worn while on eye drops to treat allergies. Place drops in your child’s eyes a few minutes before putting in contacts, and have them avoid wearing contacts when their eyes are red. Artificial tears can help soothe dry, itchy eyes as well.
Runny or congested nose
A simple, nasal saline spray will flush out allergens and relieve nasal congestion from allergies. Over-the-counter, steroid allergy nose sprays can be effective at eliminating symptoms. It takes about a week until your child will notice the benefits of this medicine. Even though this medicine is over the counter, check with your pediatrician if your child needs to use a steroid nasal spray for more than one allergy season of the year. Avoid the use of nasal decongestants for more than two to three days, because a rebound runny nose called rhinitis medicamentosa may occur.
Oral antihistamines vary by how long they last, how well they help itchiness, and their side effects. During an allergic reaction, antihistamines block one of the agents responsible for producing swelling and secretions in your child’s body, called histamine. Prescription antihistamines are not necessarily “stronger.” In fact, there are very few prescription antihistamines. The “best” choice is the one that alleviates your child’s symptoms. As a good first choice, if another family member has had success with one antihistamine, genetics suggest your child may respond as well to the same medicine.
- Older, “first generation” antihistamines that have been on the market for a long time can make kids sleepy and don’t last very long. Occasionally, kids become “hyper” and are unable to sleep after taking these types of medicines.
- Newer, “second generation” antihistamines cause less sleepiness in your child, last longer, and are dosed once per day.
Oral decongestants such as phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine can help decrease nasal stuffiness. However, their use is not recommended in children under the age of 6 years because of potential side effects such as rapid heart rate, increased blood pressure, and sleep disturbances.
Remember: Read labels carefully for the active ingredient
Whichever medication you choose, be sure to check the label for age and proper dosing and ask your primary care provider or pharmacist if you have any questions. Your child’s CHOP provider will help tailor an allergy plan specific to your child’s needs.
For more advice that will help you keep your child healthy, happy and safe, subscribe to our Health Tip of the Week e-newsletter.
8 Home Remedies for Nasal Allergies
- RELATED: The Best Natural Remedies for Kids
These shiny orbs also have vitamin C and flavanoids, including quercetin, which can act as a mast cell stabilizing agent. “Mast cells are important mediators of allergy because they release histamine,” explains Corinna Bowser, M.D., an allergist at Narberth Allergy and Asthma in Narberth, Pennsylvania. Because chunks of raw fruit can be a choking hazard for kids younger than 4, it’s best to peel and grate apples when serving. You could also bake them at 400 degrees F until softened.
The antioxidant quercetin is also found in this veggie, though you may find onions to be a tougher sell to your kid. If that’s the case, this bulbous root, also known as allium cepa, can be consumed in pellet form, says Klimenko. It’s safe for kids over 2 years of age (follow the instructions on the package).
This sweet treat gets mixed reviews when it comes to easing nasal allergies, but it may be worth a shot. “The thought behind it is that bees collect pollen and pollen is behind allergies, so if you eat honey regularly the body might get used to the allergen and not make the response,” says Dr. Bowser. The problem with this theory is that the pollen that causes allergic rhinitis, asthma, and allergic conjunctivitis is only from wind-pollinated plants, and honey dones’t contain a significant amount of pollen allergen—it’s mainly a sugar and allergens are mostly proteins. But Dr. Klimenko recommends local bee pollen. “Buy it seasonally and start with one to two granules, working up to a teaspoon a day,” she notes. But don’t give honey to a baby under 1 year because of the risk of infant botulism, a serious gastrointestinal condition.
Apple cider vinegar is an age-old immune-boosting, allergy-fighting probiotic remedy used for a variety of ailments, says Dr. Maypole. “Dosage recommendations vary, but usually the suggestion is a teaspoon to a tablespoon in 8 ounces of water.
If your child will try them, dishes made with cayenne pepper, fresh ginger, and fenugreek, as well as onions and garlic, may help thin mucus and open up nasal passages. “The capsaicin found in spicy foods, including red peppers, may work by desensitizing nasal nerve fibers,” says Dr. Bowser.
Does your child have itchy eyes due to nasal allergies? Try a cold compress, which can help reduce the itch and soreness. Also, remind your kids to avoid rubbing their eyes—this only makes itching and irritation worse.
Yup, plain ol’ H2O can work wonders. Older children might want to try nasal irrigation using a saline solution, either from the drugstore or homemade (mix 8 ounces of water with a teaspoon of non-iodized salt). Drinking enough each day is important too—blowing and sneezing can dry your kid out. And finally, the steam in a warm shower or bath may help to clear out her stuffy nose.
- By Jennifer Kelly Geddes
Allergies are hypersensitivity reactions to normally harmless substances. In allergic rhinitis, the immune system releases histamines and other chemicals to fight the “allergen”. As a result, swelling (inflammation) and congestion of the nasal passages and increased mucus production occurs. Allergies can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, but commonly children experience stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, itchy skin and eyes. Allergies can be seasonal or chronic, depending on the allergen. As children age, they can “outgrow” their allergies as their immune system matures.
What are the Symptoms of Allergies in Children?
- Itchy skin, hives, swelling
- Burning, watery, red, eyes
- Stuffy, runny nose, sneezing
- Wheezing / asthma
- Ear infections
What Are Common Allergens for Children?
- Animal dander
- Dust mites
- Food – eggs, milk, soy, corn, wheat/gluten, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, citrus fruits
- Wood smoke
- Chemical fumes, aerosols, perfumes, scented products
Five Tips for Reducing Allergies in Children:
- Supplement. Nutrients such as bioflavonoids, calcium, magnesium, carotenoids, essential fatty acids, selenium, B vitamins, and vitamin C work to help with inflammation, reduce allergic symptoms, soothe irritated mucus membranes, and support immune function.
- Wash your hands/nose. Wash pollen from hands and face after outdoor activities, and avoid touching the eyes or nose while outside. Bathing before bed reduces exposure to pollens on hair and skin, and washing bedding regularly is essential. A saline sinus flush with a neti pot or squeeze bottle removes accumulated pollens and congestion in the nasal passages.
- Don’t forget about inside. Keep indoor pollen at bay by closing windows and using central or portable HEPA filters during allergy season. Consider removing outdoor clothes and shoes when returning home after activities, leaving them outside your living space. Hang laundry to dry indoors instead of under pollen-filled trees, but be aware of excess interior dampness if mold sensitivity is also an issue. To minimize the pollen pets bring home, plan regular baths for your furry friends.
- Timing is everything. Timing outdoor activities to coincide with decreased pollen levels may save you hours of itching. Pollen counts are reported by local weather services, but are generally highest between 5 am and 10 am. Some seasons may be better for you than others. For example, if your allergies are limited to fall weeds, spring and early summer would be better times to plan that wilderness camping trip.
- Clean up your child’s diet. Consider doing an elimination or rotation diet of possible troublesome foods for a few weeks to see if you notice improvement in your child’s allergy symptoms. Keeping a diet diary can also prove helpful in monitoring symptoms and possible food triggers. Eating colorful fruits and vegetables provide protective flavonoids. Avoiding unhealthy fats and oils, sugar, and refined carbohydrates is recommended to reduce stress on the body. In addition, ensure that your child is drinking plenty of water help to help thin mucus secretions.
Natural Remedies for Children’s Allergies:
Pathway CHILDREN’S CHEWABLE MULTI
This multiple provides an important foundation of key vitamins and minerals in a great tasting chewable tablet. And, it contains no artificial flavorings or colorings.
Pathway ALLERGY SUPPORT PLUS
Pathway ALLERGY SUPPORT PLUS is a comprehensive formula that combines vitamin C, nettle leaf extract, bromelain, turmeric, plus other synergistic nutrients. This formula provides powerful upper respiratory support and is excellent for anyone suffering from allergies during hay fever season.
Pathway CHILDREN’S ACIDOPHILUS
This high potency, multiple species, children’s specific probiotic provides the most beneficial bacteria in the amounts that help to establish an excellent digestive environment. Each capsule is microencapsulated to protect the good bacteria against the destruction normally caused by the harsh acidic environment of the stomach. Beyond supporting digestive health, probiotics support a healthy immune response.
Pathway OMEGA 3,6,9 COMPLETE EFA
Pathway OMEGA 3,6,9 COMPLETE EFA blend contains molecularly distilled fish oil with high concentrations of important omega-3 EPA & DHA. Omega 3,6,9 also contains cold pressed and hexane-free flax and borage seed oils, which supply omega-6 and omega-9 EFAs. Essential fatty acids play an important role in immune and inflammatory health.
Holistic Treatment for Children’s Allergies
Schedule a consultation with one of Village Green’s naturopathic doctors or certified nutritionists for a personal assessment of your child’s unique situation. During your appointment (either by phone or in-person), our professionals will:
- Review your child’s allergy symptoms and health history
- Examine your diet and lifestyle
- Recommend specialized testing
- Assess possible drug-nutrient interactions or depletions
- Answer any questions you may have
- Evaluate treatment options
- Create a customized holistic treatment plan for allergies that includes natural solutions, diet and lifestyle recommendations, and custom compounding.
Contact a Village Green nutritionist by calling 800-869-9159.
Learn more about our nutrition counseling and wellness services.
Children & Allergies
No parent wants to see their child suffer. Any child can develop allergies, but they are more common in children from families with a history of allergies. Since it’s impossible for parents to control absolutely everything that their child is exposed to or eats, parents should instead focus on monitoring their child for symptoms.
Early identification of childhood allergies will improve your child’s quality of life, reduce the number of missed school days and help you avoid having to use sick time or vacation days to care for your child. If your son or daughter is struggling, take control of the situation and consult an allergist today.
Early identification of childhood allergies will improve your child’s quality of life, reduce the number of missed school days and help you avoid having to use sick time or vacation days to care for your child.
Find an allergist
Allergy Symptoms in Children
- Skin rashes or hives (atopic dermatitis or eczema)
- Difficulty breathing (asthma)
- Sneezing, coughing, a runny nose or itchy eyes
- Stomach upset
Common Allergy triggers in Children
- Outdoors: tree pollen, plant pollen, insect bites or stings
- Indoors: pet or animal hair or fur, dust mites, mold
- Irritants: cigarette smoke, perfume, car exhaust
- Foods: peanuts, eggs, milk and milk products
If you suspect your child has an allergy, make an appointment to see an allergist. Start a diary before the appointment and keep track of what symptoms your child experiences and what you think causes them.
Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
Allergic rhinitis is the most common childhood ailment caused by allergies. Symptoms include a runny and itchy nose, sneezing, postnasal drip and nasal congestion (blockage). A child with allergies may also have itchy, watery, red eyes and chronic ear problems. Even though it’s commonly known as “hay fever,” allergic rhinitis isn’t triggered by hay and doesn’t cause fever.
Allergies are the most common cause of chronic nasal congestion (a stuffy nose) in children. Sometimes a child’s nose is congested to the point that he or she breathes through the mouth, especially while sleeping. This may also cause the child to not get a restful night’s sleep and then be tired the next day. If the congestion and mouth-breathing are left untreated, they can affect the growth of teeth and the bones of the face. Early treatment of the allergies causing the nasal congestion may prevent these problems.
Allergies lead to inflammation in the ear and may cause fluid accumulation that can promote ear infections and decreased hearing. A baby whose hearing is impaired for any reason while learning to talk may develop poor speech. Allergies can cause earaches as well as ear itching, popping and fullness (“stopped-up ears”). Anyone with these symptoms should see an allergist for possible testing and treatment.
As many as 6 million children in the United States have some form of food allergy.
If a new mother is breast-feeding, some especially sensitive babies can have allergic reactions to foods their mothers eat. Babies can be tested for allergies. Eliminating these foods from the mother’s diet may provide relief for the child.
The most common allergies in children are to peanuts and milk; other frequently seen triggers include eggs, fish, shellfish (crab, lobster, crayfish and shrimp), soy, tree nuts (for example, pecans, cashews and walnuts) and wheat. The most severe reactions are typically to peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish — all allergies that can last a lifetime. Children often outgrow allergies to milk, eggs, soy and wheat.
All parents of a child with a food allergy should be aware of the possibility of anaphylaxis — a potentially life-threatening reaction that impairs breathing, causes a sudden drop in blood pressure and can send a body into shock. For that reason, most children with food allergies are prescribed epinephrine (adrenaline), administered with an auto-injector as soon as symptoms develop.
Allergies and school
Your child’s school should be informed of any allergies. If your child has asthma or a severe allergy, give a copy of your child’s action plan to the school nurse or the administrative office. Also, discuss your child’s access to medication, including epinephrine (adrenaline), in case of an emergency.
- School pets: Furry animals in school may cause problems for allergic children. If your child has allergy or asthma symptoms while at school including coughing, difficulty breathing, a rash, runny nose or sneezing, it could be the class pet.
- Asthma and physical education: Physical education and sports are a big part of the school day for many children. Having asthma does not mean eliminating these activities. Children with asthma and other allergic diseases should be able to participate in any sport the child chooses, provided the doctor’s advice is followed. Asthma symptoms during exercise may indicate poor control, so be sure that your child is taking controller asthma medications on a regular basis. Often medication administered by an inhaler is prescribed before exercise to control symptoms.
- Dust irritation: At school, children with allergic problems may need to sit away from the blackboard to avoid irritation from chalk dust.
Do you suspect your child has an allergy? The symptoms could be a sign of a serious issue. Don’t delay: Find an allergist today.