The biggest spring-allergy trigger is pollen—tiny grains released into the air by trees, grasses, and weeds for the purpose of fertilizing other plants. When pollen grains get into the nose of someone who’s allergic, they send the immune system into overdrive, causing increased allergy symptoms: stuffy nose, ears, and sinuses; inflamed eyes; headaches; sore throat; and difficulty breathing.
Many of us (me included) have been severely affected by seasonal allergies; some unfortunate folks experience them year-round. Mine were so bad they led to asthma attacks and a few trips to the emergency room for adrenaline shots as a child. I outgrew the original severity but was continually plagued with symptoms for many years.
In desperation, I tried every traditional drug-based therapy—both over-the-counter and prescription. Without a doubt, it’s exhausting to have to sleep upright, and it’s an extremely scary feeling to be sucking on your steroidal inhaler and not getting any relief. Gradually, as I became aware of more natural ways of taking care of myself (with diet, acupuncture, and herbs) and started seeing results, it was unbelievable to think I had once thought it was my lot to live with steroidal inhalers.