In this test a very small amount of the allergen, i.e., a tree pollen, is placed under the skin on the arm or back to see if your body produces a small hive or wheal. If you do, it is considered a positive test for the allergy.
Now that you know you have a particular allergen, what can you do to lessen your symptoms? The first thing to do is to find out what months will your allergy be the worst, and start treating your allergies at least two months before you have any symptoms.
This can help build up medicines in your system strengthen your immune system against being overwhelmed when the allergens become airborne. When I treat seasonal allergies I usually have patients come to start treatments in February, about two months ahead of the beginning of the allergy season.
It is amazing that as our bodies are prepared for the allergies, the symptoms are significantly reduced. In fact some of my patients report being “cured” because their symptoms have been relieved.
I usually put my patients on an anti-inflammatory diet to reduce overreaction of the immune system to seasonal allergens. To learn more about an anti-inflammatory diet check out my book Daelicious! Recipes for vibrant living.
I also recommend food with high levels of quercetin like green or black tea, onions, scallions, garlic, and certain hot peppers. Quercetin helps to stabilize mast cells and reduce the release of histamine, the cause of the symptoms.
When histamine is stabilized, symptoms are significantly reduced. This is why your medical doctor gives you prescription antihistamines when you go into the office.
Once the allergens have overwhelmed the air, the best plan is to reduce your exposure and contact with them. My first suggestion is reduce the contact with your nasal tissues.
Nasal irrigation is an ancient East Indian treatment that is very effective in reducing the amount of pollen in the nose. A warm saline solution, a salt and water combination, is placed in a container that looks similar to a tea pot called a netilota or neti pot.