Seasonal Allergies & Natural Treatments in Kelowna

Spring is in the air! The weather is starting to warm up, fresh cut grass floats in the breeze and blossoms bring trees back to life. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, this means sneezing, wheezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. Before you reach for the anti-histamines and intra-nasal steroids, consider treating the root cause of your allergies with naturopathic medicine.

How do I know if I have allergies or just a cold? There are several symptoms to consider to ensure that you have allergies and not a cold:

  • You are sneezing in rapid, repeated sequences
  • Your nose, ears and throat (especially the roof of your mouth) are itchy
  • You do not have a fever or achy muscles
  • Your mucousal secretions are clear and runny
  • Your symptoms are lasting longer than 10 days

If you’re still not convinced, your Naturopathic Doctor can perform skin or blood tests to confirm whether you are allergic to something.

Why do I have allergies?
Seasonal allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to normally harmless airborne particles. An allergy is an abnormal hypersensitivity to these airborne particles or environmental antigens called allergens. An allergen can include pollen from trees, grasses, weeds, and ragweed, as well as cat or dog dander, dust and moulds. Exposure to an allergen leads to overactive B cells that in turn produce excess Immunoglobulin E (IgE). IgE then triggers the allergic symptoms by activating mast cells (cells that line the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and throat) that produce histamine. Common symptoms include: runny nose, sinus congestion, headache, fatigue and itchy eyes.

Your Seasonal Allergy Test
Dr. Emina offers a skin-prick test that takes about 20 minutes, following an initial consultation. This test is performed on the forearm by introducing tiny amounts of an allergen under the patient’s skin with a pin-prick. In an allergic patient, the allergen will produce a swollen itchy patch surrounded by an area of redness.
Natural Treatment for Seasonal Allergies:
Based on your allergy test results, individually compounded medicines are created. Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) works by delivering low dose drops of these allergens at frequent intervals, two to three times a day, under the tongue to build up the body’s tolerance over time. It is an ideal treatment for patients with an aversion to needles, like young children and those with busy schedules that can’t make appointments for shots. Sublingual immunotherapy has been recognized as an efficient and effective treatment for allergies by the World Health Organization and has been used extensively in Europe for over 15 years.
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Additional support for allergies include botanical medicine specifically formulated for the treatment of hay fever, sinusitis, upper respiratory catarrh and colds. Regular Vitamin C injections help the immune system to better manage symptoms. Also, there are simple things you can do at home to help decrease your symptoms. Find out more from your Naturopathic Physician

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