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March 27, 2017 06:20 PM

Allergy Season Remedies

If you're one of the millions of Americans who suffers during allergy season, we have some bad news tonight. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is predicting the worst allergy season in years.

Some allergy experts are going so far as to call it a "pollen vortex." After a cold, wet winter, the change in season may mean a harsh change for allergy sufferers. 

 "It's been about in the last two weeks, patients are coming in and making appointments to schedule treatments to get ahead of the allergy season," Avera Family Medicine physician Dr. Dawn Flickema said.

Dr. Flickema says it's difficult to tell exactly how bad an allergy season might be, but she usually gets a good idea when people start coming in for treatment. 

 "When it goes from 70 degrees down to 20 degrees that affects me and also the wind. If the wind is blowing 40 to 50 mph that affects me also," allergy patient Shane Vetch said.

Allergy patient Shane Vetch says he's suffered from allergies all his life. After trying every over-the-counter medication possible, he decided to take the advice of his doctor and  friends and try acupuncture for his symptoms.

 "I've probably taken 4 allergy pills since September. So it's made a world of difference for myself," Vetch said.

Flickema applies the needles to Vetch's lower face, hands, lower legs and feet. 

"I look at it clinically. It tends to act as an antihistamine So it turns off that histamine release or response to the allergen for patients," said Flickema.

Flickema says it only take a few moments to put the needles in place. Afterward, patients sit in a dark room and relax while the acupuncture needles work to stimulate the nerves.

She also recommends certain diet changes for allergy patients.

"Apple's are high in a natural chemical called quercetin which stabilize's mass cells and prevents histamine release.So increasing your apple intake around allergy season can be helpful, too," Flickema said.

Vetch says he's gotten about 10 treatments and he plans to keep receiving accupuncture throughout the season.

 "My symptoms have been much less than what they have been over the years. It's worked out well," Vetch said

Flickema says other good diet changes are to stop eating anything that causes inflammation. She says certain teas, berries and onions are also high in quercetin.

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