Allergy is an abnormal reaction or increased sensitivity of our body to certain substances in the environment.You could have a seasonal allergy to pollen ( from trees & grass) in the form of hay fever when plant pollination begins in spring.Perennial allergies are usually year-round problems. Common triggers for them include mold spores, pet ( dead skin & hair/feather) & dust mite.

We often blame spike in sniffles during wintertime on the weather. Instead, the real cause might be something the forecast didn't mention- the climate at home! Step into your living room, it might look tidy, but microscopic dust particles collect in the carpeting & furniture. Take a closer look into your bathroom, it could be a house for mold spores. To top it all, if you have pet at home, don't forget your dear friend, he may appear harmless but could be causing you all the distress.

Winter allergies are a growing menace that are aggravated by spending too much time indoors. Indoor pollution can in fact get more damaging than what is outside, creating a havoc for your immune system. When the temperature drops, it sends dust, mites, mold spores, and insect parts from the dark corners of your house into the air. They can get into your nose and launch a reaction like sneezing, redness of nose, post nasal dropping, watery eyes, coughing etc.

The conventional form of treatment for all sorts of allergies, whether nasal or skin is antihistamines like cetrizine /levocetrizine or decongestants or a combination of both which tend to provide temporary relief, once the effect wears off, the problem returns in full force.

I have had patients coming to me who had been taking these anti- allergic medicines medicines for years together. These anti-histaminics are sleep inducing & often people tend to feel sleepy or dizzy during the daytime, which can sometimes get dangerous. The easy availability & low cost makes these anti-allergic medicines easily accessible. In fact they have become sort of home remedies for allergies & people just keep popping them in without even a prescription from a qualified doctor.

Homoeopathy is best placed to treat all sorts of allergies. The reason for this is that it doesn't just treat the symptoms of the allergies, instead it works to root out their cause- hyperactivity of the immune system. Homeopathic medicines repair the immune system, the hyperactivity is corrected and the body starts reacting normally to the same things that used to cause the allergies. The aim of homoeopathy is not only to treat allergy but also to address the underlying cause& individual susceptibility. Here the allergies are treated not on the basis of the allergen triggering the allergic response, but by the characteristic individual symptoms narrated by the patient. Top homooeopathic remedies for allergies are apis, ars alb, nat mur , sulp which can be used following case taking.

Healthy diet is equally important for keeping your immune system functioning well. For a natural allergy-fighting boost, choose a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin C e.g. cranberries, amla, oranges etc.Thankfully nature as some pretty tasty foods that can help us combating allergies. Certain foods contain just the right vitamins, minerals or micronutrients that our bodies need to feel their best. Here are some of the best : sweet potato smoothie or hummus, carrots,spinach , kale, green peas , pumpkin seeds. Pump up your fluid intake, eat more water rich fruits & veggies to avoid getting dehydrated, fresh veg juice of ginger carrot orange  is very good option. Sipping hot drinks like green tea, hot vegetable broth may relieve your congestion.

Lifestyle changes like, making an effort to get out of the house. A breath of fresh air and some outdoor exercise are sure remedies . Whatever be the forecast, the climate outside will certainly offer relief. Avoid what you are allergic to and keep indoor allergens to a minimum by mopping, sweeping, and dusting often.Throw out shower curtains, wallpaper, and carpeting that have molds.Replace carpet with wood or tile flooring.Wash showers and sinks with a solution containing 5% bleach and a little detergent to wipe-off most miscreants.To help control dust mites and mold, fix water leaks and use a dehumidifier/allow enough of sunlight in, to keep the humidity below 50%.Use of air filters/purifiers can clean dust from the air.Wash bedding in hot water (130 F) each week.Pet allergies can make living with these long-time companions intolerable. If parting is not an option, minimize cuddling, and ensure that they stay out of your bedroom at night.Wash your hands and face frequently to wash away allergens.When allergy symptoms are intense, take a shower; it removes allergens from your hair and encourages you to change the clothes that allergens may be clinging to. The steam of a hot bath may relieve allergy symptoms like sinus congestion.Avoid cigarette smoke, car exhaust and alcohol as they inflame your bronchial tissues.

You are not alone with winter allergies ,millions of people are allergy prone year -round. If you aren't getting relief overthe counter medication, maybe its time for homoeopathic consultation & healthy diet. In short, be alert not but not alarmed , and your winter may pass with fewer sniffles than you might think