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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Another Pollen Tsunami?: Tips to Prepare

Mar 31, 2016 03:46PM ● By Melisa Skyrm

Melisa Skyrm

Last fall’s allergies were still occurring in December due to the warm weather. Some people have been experiencing spring allergies since late February and the symptoms are on the rise with this warm weather. We have had some of the highest pollen seasons for the past two years, including last year’s “Pollen Tsunami”. The reason for last year’s very high pollen count was the delayed spring, combined with moisture from the abundant snowfall. Normally we would have a variety of trees and plants blooming at various times during the late winter and spring but last year it took place all at once, making it visually stunning but a dreadful spring for allergy sufferers. This year gave us very little snowfall but it looks as though the very mild winter combined with higher than normal late winter temperatures will bring us very high pollen counts as well. Here are some simple tips you can try to follow to help deal with your allergies:

Shower at Night

  • Take showers every night when you are in for the evening, to wash off all of the pollen, especially from your hair, so you don’t breathe it in all night long. If you have been gardening, mowing the lawn or doing another outdoor activity take a shower as well to wash off the pollen. It’s beneficial to also not keep pollen-laden clothes in your bedroom.

Give Your Sinuses a Shower!

  • Do this in the evening and in the morning as well. If you have been out for a walk, bike or hike and feel your sinuses acting up, this is a good time to wash out your sinuses and take a shower as well. Simply Saline has a great product that mists higher into the sinuses and has an allergy formula that has a little more salt to soothe the mucous membranes and dry out some of the mucous without leaving you too dry like allergy medications can. They also have a children’s version.  Some people use a neti pot, but this feels odd for many people, especially young children. Feel free to try either option.

Dawn and Dusk Awareness

  • Avoid exercising in the early morning and at dusk when the pollen is being released more and is in our breathing zone more.  

Be Aware of Storms  

  • Avoid being outside right before it rains especially before a thunderstorm as the increase in moisture and pressure combined with the wind, releases the pollen. If you are in your car during a storm, put the air conditioner on and recirculate the air. Many people feel better after the storm as the pollen is cleared. If you feel worse after the storm, you may be reacting to mold or pressure changes.

Massage Your Scalp  

  • The most affective is to massage your scalp over your ears, then behind your ears and work your way around the base of your hairline/neck, all along those bumpy bones (your occiput). This’ll help decrease inflammation and will help your sinuses drain.

Alternative OTC Medications

  •  Homeopathics can help allergies. Some are specific to symptoms but there are some general allergy formulas by companies such as Hylands, Heel, Simalasan, and Vogel among others. There are liquids, nose sprays, eye drops, tablets and pellets. Many are safe for young children and are pleasant to taste. Most are available at your local health food store.
  • Some common supplements used for allergies are nettle, Vitamin C, turmeric, quercetin, fish oil and probiotics.

Honey Helps

  • Take some local honey and/or local bee pollen to help manage symptoms. The key is that it’s local as it’ll contain pollen from our area to help with plants in this area; these are different than plants from other regions like out west. Many people prefer raw unfiltered or low-temperature processed honey as it protects the various nutrients.

Increased Sensitivity

  • When you are already sensitive from allergies, you may react to smells more, so minimize perfume usage and items with fragrances, including creams and soaps.

Spring Cleaning  

  • Put all pillows in the dryer for at least 20 minutes on high heat, as well as stuffed animals and comforters to remove dust and kill dust mites. Clean blinds or wash curtains.
  • Clean blinds or wash curtains.
  • Vacuum with a machine that has a sealed system with a Hepa-Filter. Dust with a damp cloth or a microfiber cloth that catches the dust.  
  • Dust with a damp cloth or a microfiber cloth that catches the dust.

Decrease Inflammatory Response  

  • Eat “cleaner”—more vegetables and fruits, high-quality protein.  
  • Avoid processed foods and dairy products that can increase mucous production, cakes and other treats—substitute these with natural fruits, and reduce meat intake.

Try Complementary Therapies

  • These include acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy and herbal medicine.  

Additional Symptom Relief Therapy

There are alternative treatments help to decrease or eliminate allergy symptoms including Advanced Allergy Therapeutics (AAT), N.A.E.T., and desensitizing treatments.  

Melisa Skyrm is a Licensed and Board Certified Acupuncturist at Regenerate Health and Wellness in Voorhees. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 609-332-1324.

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