Allergy sufferers branching out for alternative treatments - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Allergy sufferers branching out for alternative treatments

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(Western Mass News photo) (Western Mass News photo)

Sneezing, itching, and runny noses - allergy sufferers have been miserable these past few days.

Allergy season is really taking its toll, but how do you beat the ragweed and pollen dragging many of us down?

Trees are in bloom and springtime temperatures are on the rise.

It's the perfect recipe for outdoor fun and seasonal allergies.

"Within the last week, the weather has gotten hot and stayed hot, so the pollen has really gone up," said Dr. David Robertson.

Robertson told Western Mass News that it's probably going to get worst before it gets better.

"There are a number of medical therapies out there.  Many are over the counter," Robertson added.

However, weeding through the many products at the pharmacy can leave some people stumped and while pharmacists can help lead patients in the direction, some are turning to herbal remedies.

"These are products literally out of nature.  Your body recognizes them. They are food, they are nutrients," said Jonathan Evans with Herbarium in Chicopee.

About 50 million Americans suffer from allergies every year, but finding a good remedy can be a lot of trial and error. 

That's why people are branching out.

"Things like nettle leaves, Eye Bright for watery eyes," Evans added.

Evans said that herbal medicine helps him in alleviating hay fever.

"They're safe, they're effective, and they may not be immediate.  You may need to a wait a half hour, but the effect is long lasting.  You're treating the base of the problem, not the symptoms so much," Evans noted. 

However, Robertson said that patients should be cautious.

"Some herbal remedies can be very helpful, but the problem with herbal remedies is that if It has an effect, it can have side effects," Robertson said.

However, everybody is different and it's important to find what works best for you. 

"My general rule is that if you feel better and it's not hurting you, then I think it's fine to try that.  For some people, it works and for some people, it doesn't and I think that is okay," Robertson added.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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