Spring has finally arrived. And with the long-awaited beautiful weather and the shades of green painting our landscape come the fragrances of spring and summer flowers, tree blossoms and cut grass, which can mean puffy eyes, sneezing, coughing and sinus pressure for millions of Americans.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, roughly 20 percent of Americans suffer from allergies. ChicagoHealers.com Practitioner Ian Wahl, D.Ac., L.Ac., offers the following tips for staying allergy free during the spring and summer months.

  • Take a whole-food-based vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as a natural antihistamine. Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, found taking vitamin C daily, significantly reduced blood histamine levels.
  • Magnesium eases breathing. Some immunologists suggest taking 400 milligrams of magnesium daily helps with nasal allergies and breathing problems. If you want to supplement your diet with magnesium-rich foods, the best sources are nuts, beans, whole grains, green leafy vegetables and bananas.
  • Wear sunglasses when going outside. Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, creates a certain amount of photosensitivity. Wearing sunglasses helps reduce your sensitivity to light and thus helps your eyes from excessive watering.
  • Drink a lot of cool water. It probably seems counterintuitive to recommend drinking water with all of that liquid in your sinuses, nose and eyes, but rehydrating is one of the best ways to eliminate toxins from your body. Besides, it cools you down and provides some symptom relief.
  • Check the local pollen count. If you have severe allergies, you might consider wearing a mask on days when the pollen count is unusually high.
  • Stay away from dairy. I know, it can be hard to stay away from the ice cream in the summertime. But if you have hay fever, eating dairy will produce even more phlegm and make you feel worse.
  • Use your bathroom exhaust fan when taking a shower. This will help prevent growth of mold in the shower. Cleaning your bathtub or shower liner is also important. Better yet, replace your liner every month or two, if you have mold sensitivities or asthma.
  • Keep your dryer vent clear. Buildup of lint in the dryer vent will cause an excess of dust in your house. Have your vents cleaned regularly to avoid aggravating your allergy symptoms.
  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. HEPA filter vacuums do not recirculate back into the air the polluting particles the vacuum has just picked up. Make sure you have a true HEPA filter and not a HEPA-like filter. You can tell by looking at the manufacturer’s test results of the filter. A true HEPA filter will have test results stating that 0.3 microns are 99.97 percent or above.
  • Get rid of clutter. Allergy sufferers need to be especially careful about controlling dust in their homes, and clutter is a major source of dust and dust mites. If you can’t see your floors or walls in closets and basements, you have a clutter problem. Just as clutter clogs your house and obstructs the free flow of energy in your home, clutter also clogs your nose and obstructs the free flow of life-giving air into your body.

For more information, visit www.ChicagoHealers.com.