Looking for Allergy Relief in All the Right Places

This has been the “worst year” for allergy sufferers, according to an article in the WashingtonPost, dated September 15, 2012, “Weather,” it says is the culprit. According to the chief of allergy, asthma and immunology, Jay Portnoy, of  Children’s Mercy Hospital and Clinics in Kansas City, MO,  it has been “a perfect storm — hot dry air; low humidity; trees and plants that bloomed early; months of high pollen counts.”  When these conditions converge, those who suffer from allergies, suffer greatly.

One woman who commented on the article indicates she has a friend who would stay with a family inHawaiifor the worst two months of allergy season to avoid suffering.  This same commenter, who also suffers greatly, said she would do the same if her circumstances allowed it.

According to the UCLA Health Systems, allergies are “skyrocketing,” not due to a “perfect storm” as indicated but because of  “excessive cleanliness.”  … “In short, our ‘developed’ lifestyles have eliminated that natural variation in the types and quantity of germs our immune systems needs for it to develop into a less allergic, better regulated state of being.”

Interestingly, this study also notes that there are less allergic reactions in developing countries with large families, rural homes, and low antibiotic use, among other lower standards of living.  In fact, they label this group as “non-allergic.”  The “westernized” countries with smaller families, affluent, urban homes, and high antibiotic use are labeled “allergic disorders” such as asthma, eczema and rhinitis.

Based on in-depth studies of the natural environment and the human immune systems and what happens when the natural environment is fundamentally altered by humans the study concludes: “many of the advances of modernization, such as good sanitation and eradicating parasitic (helmith) infections, may actually be fueling this epidemic of allergies.”

So, what is the public to do when not only the weather but also aspects of modernization – intended to keep us cleaner and healthier – converge and actually increase our vulnerability to allergies? Will further drugging, or creams and inhalants, changes in climate, and protecting ourselves from the weather solve these problems?

Natural remedies to prevent, mitigate or heal allergies abound – from eating honey produced by bees from your local area (believed to increase resistance to allergic reaction to pollen) to things such as:

Moving to another part of the country that has been determined  to be a better climate for allergy sufferers

—Wearing gloves to protect hands from coming in contact with dust and other irritants

—Avoiding using window fans to cool rooms, because they can pull pollen indoors.

Keeping windows closed when driving and using the air conditioner to avoid allergens.

Limiting your time outdoors when pollen counts are highest

All of them require changing diet or behaviors and many of them require limiting one’s activities.

But maybe there is another “natural” solution that doesn’t require changes to food or limits to activities. Increasingly, people are finding improved health by changing their thinking. Our thoughts, it turns out, do affect our health.

As a former allergy sufferer – eczema, allergies to cats and housework, and bronchial asthma, I couldn’t accept the verdict of incurability and began searching for a “natural” solution that doesn’t require changes to food or limits to activities.

I turned to the Bible for comfort and answers, and I found both.

In Genesis, I found this helpful statement: God gave us, “dominion over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”  I saw these allergies (dust, pollen in the air, cat dander, and cold weather) as “creeping things,” over which I, apparently, had been given dominion.

My thoughts began changing from being a helpless victim to taking charge of  how I thought about myself and my environment.  I began to appreciate my environment (no matter what season it was), and see the beauty of it, instead of being afraid of it.  I began to sing favorite songs and hymns while doing housework and, when I saw a cat — well, I began to recognize qualities of grace, independence, quickness and playfulness.

One by one the allergies left.  As thought changed, I became happier, more active and loving life instead of fearing it.

According to Daniel Ein, Direcor of the Allergy and Science Center at George Washington University School of Medicine, “emergency rooms are busier than ever” with allergy sufferers.  “What’s that about I don’t know.”

If it isn’t the weather and experts in this don’t know what it’s about, perhaps it’s time to look in new and different directions for answers.

Photo by uploaded from flickr.com

Kate blogs about health, spirituality, Christian Science, science, the importance of prayer and religion.  She is a Christian Science practitioner and the media, legislative and public contact for Christian Science in the state of Maryland.  She is married and has 4 children and 2 grandchildren.  She and her husband enjoy hiking, especially with Callie, a Blue Heeler; and riding motorcycles.  She also has the best and most courageous cat, Cleo, who is best friends with a beagle named Maple. 




  1. Very Interesting. Thank you for your insight!

  2. Two things struck me as I read this. Don’t ever accept not enjoying those outside activities that are important to you, for one. The second is along the same lines. When I was in high school I had to get a physical for a summer job. The doctor told us (mother and me) that I had a heart murmur and shouldn’t exert myself, it could be dangerous. That had never come up previously. My immediate reaction was “there is no way I’m not playing sports”. At that age I refused to accept what he was telling us and went on living my life. The next year’s physical, the many in the Coast Guard, others for jobs, playing basketball for another 40 years, and hiking in the Himalayas, revealed no problem. I don’t know whether he had made a mistake or not. I do know that at that age I just wouldn’t accept it as the truth.

    I now need to think more like that young man that wouldn’t accept “his fate” and do the same. Perhaps if I had experienced any allergy problems as a child I would have resolved them the same way I resolved the other issue. Unfortunately, growing up where only concrete grew, I’m not sure we had pollen. Still working on it. Thanks for the insight.

    • Thank you for your comment Mike. I love to hear experiences from others. It is encouraging and heartwarming.