Sometimes, I come across some interesting correlations as I read about dyslexia, other LDs and the autism spectrum. One of those things happens to be the theorized connection between allergies and these neurological differences.
|A close up shot of my aromatherapy
oil burner in action.
I don’t know if there’s an actual connection between having allergies along with these neurologies, but I know from experience that allergy symptoms have a way of bringing out the worst in my dyslexia. These issues are further complicated by my asthma.
Through a bit of trial and error, I’ve found a few things that help me manage my symptoms without need of medication. Hopefully, these suggestions will help someone else out, too.
I know this one is a bit on the controversial side, but I have found that putting certain oils on the burner, or keeping them nearby, helps with congestion. When my sinuses are cleared, the rest of the symptoms tend to get far milder, and my asthma doesn’t act up as much. Here are my favorite oils for breathing difficulties:
- Tea tree
All three of those open air passages up very well. Eucalyptus and peppermint are regularly used in over the counter cold remedies, like chest rubs and cough drops. Tea tree has been used for centuries to treat wounds, because of its antibiotic properties. I believe it’s also a mild anti-inflammatory.
Take care when using essential oils, though. They’re concentrated substances, and can cause skin irritation if they’re not diluted. Never take them internally, either, unless under the supervision of a doctor or certified herbalist. You’ll also want to take care when shopping for them, as well. You can find some tips about what to look for here.
Stinging nettles cause that painful reaction when you touch them by injecting a small amount of histamine into your skin. Oddly enough, it’s that same histamine that helps combat allergies when the herb is brewed into a tea. When the leaves are brewed, a little bit of that chemical is released into the tea, and when you digest it, your body produces its own anti-histamines.
I use the nettle tea made by Traditional Medicinals, but if you know how to identify stinging nettle, you can harvest and prepare it yourself. If you do want to try preparing the plant yourself, I’d advise looking up how to do it safely first and at which stage in the plant’s growth cycle to harvest.
Personally, I’d stick with what I can pick up at the store. So far, it’s worked like a charm every time I’ve tried it. The taste takes a little getting used to, but adding honey helps with that.
If you or your child already has known food allergies or sensitivities, you’re likely already dealing with dietary challenges, so you might know more about this than I do. However, I have found that what I eat can have an unexpected effect on me.
When I cut out things like dairy, processed foods and nightshade veggies, I discovered that my breathing got a lot better. Allergens also didn’t seem to bother me as much.
It might be a good idea to keep a food diary for a while, and chart out when your symptoms worsen in connection to what you’re eating. If you do eliminate anything from your diet, just be sure to replace the nutrients that go with whatever it is you stop consuming.
I’ve also found that adding magnesium, vitamin D and probiotics to my diet has helped hugely.
This year, we started finishing our basement. Since we also have cats, we moved one of the litter boxes upstairs, so they can have a relatively quiet place to go when work is actively going on. Unfortunately, between the dust and dirt kicked up by the construction and from the litter, my body decided to rebel.
After a week of constant suffering, we finally went out to get an air purifier at my insistence. Within twenty minutes of turning it on, I felt an improvement. I’ve found that it’s also been very helpful in the onset of seasonal allergies, too.
These machines come in a variety of sizes, and most of them are pretty portable. Ours is rated for a large room, but we move it from room to room, depending on air quality that day.
Usually, it’s in the bedroom for use at night, but right now, it’s keeping me company here in my office.
This is one of my least favorite parts of staying healthy. If I could afford to pay someone to clean my house on a weekly basis, I would, but since I can’t, I just slap on the dust mask and hop to it.
Cleaning is a bit time consuming, but keeping dust and dirt to a minimum actually does lessen symptoms. I think this is probably in part because fewer allergens are kicked up when you clean on a regular basis, and in part because you’re getting exposed to them at lower levels.
You don’t necessarily need to go all out every week, though. I just vacuum our carpets, sweep our hard floors and dust surfaces every week. I try to do that on the same days I clean the cats’ boxes and rat’s cage. I also wash our linens every other week.
I do give the house a deeper cleaning twice a year during the spring and fall, though.
If you have a dust allergy like I do, wear a dust mask on cleaning days. You can find them in the paint section of your local hardware store, and some department stores. I’ve found them at Target before.
Although some of these suggestions take a bit more work than taking an allergy pill, I prefer them, because I don’t need to deal with side effects medications give me. I’ve found that I can function better when I do them on a regular basis. Not only can I breathe more easily, but my dyslexia doesn’t cause me any more problems than usual during allergy season.
If anyone else has suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Feel free to leave a comment if you’d like to share your favorite remedy.