This year like every other year, spring created watering eyes and sneezing noses because of all the dust, latex, smog and pollen we breathe in.

Your immune system actually cope very well with all these allergens. Your body efficiently produces histamine that improves blood flow that makes sure your blood reaches every part of your body in order to clean up these allergens that enters your body through the mucous membranes.

Did you know your mucus is your first layer of defence against inhaled allergens?

It remains therefore necessary that you take enough vitamin C, which your body needs lots of to build healthy mucus membranes.

The epithelial layer, which we call mucous membranes, replaces itself every four days inside your mouth. Vitamin C then is the building block for your body to create healthy mucous cells inside your mouth and everywhere else in your body.

Go big and drink at least 2000mg vitamin C every day this time of the year. A strong mucous membrane is your best barrier against allergens but also against viruses and bacteria that might also go and sit on your mucous membranes as you are in contact with nasty bugs all the time in a big city and township the likes of in around Pretoria and Tshwane.

Vitamin C also keeps you young because healthy bones, joints and cartilage needs vitamin c to keep your binding tissue in the body strong until you reach the good age of 113, like the old folk now reach.

There are some that reckon, with the medical advancement of today, the babies that are now born will probably reach 150 years.

One can only imagine how much vitamin C that will take to keep binding tissue strong that long.

The second simple thing

allergies, immune system and vitamin c

to do is to wash your mucus clean daily with salt water. In my Castle Ridge pharmacy, I sell my snottie mix that is a simple mix of salt, glucose and Bicarbonate of soda.

Cleaning your mucus layers daily washes your mucus membranes clean so that these allergens do not enter your body.

There are also antihistamines for those who have an immune system that totally overreacts.  When that happens, we calm down their immune systems by giving an antihistamine.

So many people take old generation short-acting antihistamines like dexchlorfeniramine that works only 6 hours and they make you sleepy. Most people in my pharmacies buy it as a sleeping tablet to take at night, which is not very helpful.

We recommend then to take the long-acting new generation antihistamines that work 24 hours that does not have the side effect of drowsiness. Remember to take one daily at the same, predetermined time.

A nasal spray works well and some customers prefer the natural sprays that also help stabilise the mucus layers in your nose and throat. Most cortisone nasal sprays are now available over the counter at all pharmacies.

Cortisone-like fluticasone acts like an anti-inflammatory that brings down swelling on the mucous membranes and calms down your immune response that causes your immune system to keep fighting all the time to clear the onslaught of allergens entering the body.

With homeopathic remedies, you can also treat it very successfully if you prefer the natural stuff.

One of the most impressive treatments is when you desensitise your immune system with a mixed allergen tablet that contains many allergens in a very low dilution of D200.

Your immune system is so amazing to then counteract by producing antibodies against these allergens but because this is such a low dilution your immune system gets used to these allergens and then do not overreact to cause a severe allergic reaction like a blocked nose, watering eyes and red itching spots on your skin.

It remains important to remember that the best treatment is to prevent the onset of allergies.  Take therefore your antihistamine on a regular basis from early on in the season to prevent the allergies to start that so easily leads to complications like sinusitis.

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