Shah says you can get a jump on seasonal allergies by being more proactive and less
passive on high pollen count days.
1) Delay Workouts and Showers to the end of the day. If you are a rise-and-run kind of person, take
your workout inside on the treadmill. Otherwise if you need to hit the pavement, exercise outside in the
afternoon or evening when pollen count is lower. During the day, tiny particles of pollen can latch on to
your skin and hair so taking a shower before you “hit the hay” at night will keep you from waking up
2) Start Meds Early as a proactive approach. Don’t wait until pollen fully sets in to start allergy
medicines. If you proactively start allergy and decongestion medicines early you can potentially help
prevent nasal priming, or a greater sensitivity to pollen that can worsen symptoms over time. When
selecting allergy medicines, read ingredient labels carefully and avoid products with dyes, parabens,
fillers and alcohols, that may contribute to the root cause of allergies. Shah serves on the medical advisory board for Genexa, a wellness company that has developed the first certified organic and non-GMO allergy medicine and saline spray, that she uses with sensitive allergy patients seeking relief. She also recommends using a neti pot to clear mucus and soothe inflammation.
3) Skip Happy Hour because alcohol is a vasodilator, which means it increases blood flow and
inflammation to areas that are already suffering from allergy symptoms. Red wine is usually the culprit
that gets called out as an allergen due to its sulfite content, but it’s not the only alcohol that aggravates
allergies. The fact is any type of booze can make your allergies inflame and sugar in cocktails can make them worse. Even two drinks a day can make your allergies go haywire. A Danish study in Clinical & Experimental Allergy found that women who had more than 14 drinks a week were 78 percent more likely to develop a perpetually stuffy nose compared to women who drank less.
4) Pass the Pineapple to reduce nasal swelling and make it easier to breathe. Pineapple is the best
source of bromelain, an enzyme that has anti-inflammatory effects. Studies show it can also inhibit the
development of allergic airway diseases and asthma. See sidebar for more foods that help fight allergies.