Runny nose, watery eyes—spring is certainly in the air.

If you think you’re hearing more sniffles and sneezes around the office, it’s not your imagination. Allergies can occur both seasonally and year round. They develop in response to different indoor and outdoor allergens. Once they come in contact with the body, the immune system works to fight off the illness and prevent asthma as well as any allergic reactions.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), every day in the United States, an estimated 50 million people suffer from allergies, while 44,000 people have an asthma attack, often in relation to allergies.

What are the symptoms?

Let’s face it — suffering from allergies is not fun. Whether you’re reacting to pollen or peanuts, your boyfriend’s cat or your girlfriend’s pooch, allergies can definitely put a damper on anyone’s day. Symptoms that typically occur include:

Difficulty breathing
Runny nose
Red and itchy eyes

Knowing the substances that can trigger episodes of sneezing or a runny nose is important to asthma and/or allergy prevention and treatment. While there are no cures for these problems, there are methods to help get them under control.

So, what’s a person to do?

It may come as a surprise, but ditching anti-bacterial anything in the home is actually a good thing. In fact, on average, incidences of asthma and/or allergies occur far less in those individuals that are around items that typically cause allergies rather than those brought up in suburban, super-hygienic environments.


Yep – humans and bacteria bugs (aka what we are killing with our anti-bacterial products) have been living together for a long time. However, as Americans have increasingly become more concerned about the cleanliness of their working and living environments, they have been ridding themselves of these bugs and killing their own immunity to them as a result.

Other prevention options may include getting allergy tested, using an inhaler, or trying various immunology therapies to help treat symptoms. For quick allergy and asthma relief, over-the-counter medicine can help alleviate some symptoms.

Finally, having a well-balanced diet can help build a healthy body on the inside and out.

fruits and vegetables

Children and adults should be feeding the “good” bugs and bacteria in their bodies with plenty of vegetables and fruits, specifically those with prebiotic plant fibers that fuel the bugs and help them fend off allergies and asthma before they start. This can also be accomplished by simply adding supplements with these plant fibers, like Prebiotin — found at most health food stores.

Now that spring has sprung, and trees and flowers are in bloom, it appears we’ve all got what seems like a thousand different types of allergies. With the right preparation and prevention tips, we can help beat allergies and asthma and survive this spring allergy season.

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Dr. Frank W. Jackson is a retired gastroenterologist with more than 40 years of research on nutrition and colon health. Today, he is the founder of Jackson GI Medical as well as Prebiotin, a premier prebiotic fiber supplement distribution in the Northeast Valley and available at Cooper’s Nutrition, The Vitamin Shoppes and Sprouts Valleywide. For more information, please visit