Home remedies that help fight seasonal allergies

DENVER, Colo. -- Along with the flowers, seasonal allergies will soon be in full bloom. But, it can be difficult to tell when allergies are severe enough to see a doctor, or if you can you get relief from home remedies.

"There are a lot of things that can be done for basic seasonal allergies that don't have to require medication or doctors visits," said Arlyn LaBair, MD, Medical Director at American Family Care in Denver.

Local honey is a commonly used home remedy. While studies are inconclusive, the theory is it helps people adapt to the allergens in their environment. But, doctors warn not to give honey to babies because of the risk of botulism, a potentially fatal illness.

"You don't want to use it on little kids less than a year or even two years old," said LaBair.

When it comes to clearing the sinuses, neti pots are safe and can be effective.

"It's not very glamorous," said Jenn Hoots, a mother who has used this method. "It's not something you'd normally talk to friends about over a dinner party, but it does work."

But if you suffer from a chronic runny nose, try using less nasal spray, because it could be the culprit.

"If you use it more than two or three days in a row, and use it a lot during the day, you will then acquire a tolerance," said LaBair. "Then you'll have a rebound -- constant runny nose."

LaBair says acupuncture and fish oil supplements can also be effective. For hay fever, she recommends avoiding Trans-Oleic acid, typically found in beef and dairy.

The big exception is asthma. LaBair recommends seeing a doctor for asthma, because it can be deadly.

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