Is it a COLD or ALLEGIES!?

Every wonder why you get itchy, watery eyes or all that nasal congestion when you are outside, around a cat or in a dusty place? Likely due to allergies!

Allergic rhinitis is inflammation of the nasal lining. Allergic conjunctivitis is due to inflammation of the lining of the eye.


Outdoor allergies are due to weeds, grass and tree pollens, ragweed and molds. Molds are often worse after rains when their spores are released into the air. Indoor allergies are due to dust and animal dander. In people prone to allergies, the allergic pathway is triggered when exposed to these outdoor or indoor particles which trigger a cell response from cells called MAST CELLS.

Mast cells breakdown and release a whole bunch of chemicals creating inflammation in the nose, eyes and lungs and sometimes, the skin. The most common chemical is


How can you tell the DIFFERENCE between a cold and allergies?

Prevention And Lifestyle Changes

  • Use allergy covers for beds, crib mattresses and pillows. IDEALLY, non-chemically treated cotton covers with a PORE size less than 5 microns. This small pore size does NOT allow allergy particles IN.
  • Minimize (or eliminate) stuffed animals. If stuffed animals are apart of your child’s life, WASH REGULARLY and keep them off the bed!
  • Wash hair nightly to keep pollen and dander away from face
  • Consider an air purifier for the bedroom with HEPA filter
  • Remove carpeting and vacuum frequently
  • Limit outdoor activities when pollen counts are HIGH usually early morning for spring tree/grass pollens, early evening for summer grasses and afternoons for ragweed and molds in the fall.

WHEW ~ that’s a lot and not everything is possible to do!


  • Nasal Saline: Salt water flushes of the nose 2x daily has been
    shown to reduce allergy symptoms by 60%! Easy and inexpensive.
  • Herbs like Nettle and Boswellia. Both are ANTI-INFLAMMATORY.
    Nettle is nutritious and can be incorporated into soups and
    broths. Boswellia is great for allergies that involve a cough.
    Available as tinctures and capsules.
  • Vitamin C taken regularly can help modulate the immune
    response. High doses like 1-2 gm daily are needed. It is best to
    take a supplement as it is TOUGH to eat enough oranges or drink
    enough OJ to get that amount!
  • Quercetin is a natural ANTI-HISTAMINE found in foods like apples
    and onions. Also found in herbs like fennel and tarragon.
    Quercetin stabilizes mast cells and prevents them from releasing
    inflammatory chemicals. Dose is 250-500mg daily and should be
    taken with vitamin C to help absorption.

Basic Takeaways:
Eliminate exposures to allergy particles.
Use lifestyle measures to reduce effect of exposures.
Herbs and supplements can modify the allergy response.


 ***We are doctors, but we are NOT YOUR doctors. Information included here is for educational purposes only and should NOT be construed as medical advice. Please call YOUR child's doctor for further guidance.***

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