Seasonal allergies affect many people across the U.S. every spring. Allergies are when your system reacts to something that does not bother other people’s systems. Usually, seasonal allergies in the spring are from pollen released by plants. Your typical allergy symptoms include sneezing, coughing, stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and itchy throat.
There are a few approaches anyone suffering from seasonal allergies can take to help subside the allergies. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health says there are four categories science supports in treating: psychological, physical, nutritional, or combinatorial approaches.
Psychological approaches can include things such as meditation, hypnosis, music therapy, or relaxation therapy. When mixed with physical approaches, there can be some effective treatments. For example, acupuncture found evidence in 2015 that it can be an extremely effective way to treat seasonal allergies. Research also found that rinsing your sinuses with a neti pot or another form of device to rinse sinuses can be useful in treatment for many.
When it comes to a nutritional approach, a few studies have found that the herb butterbur can help ease the side effects of seasonal allergies. In addition, a few studies point to honey helping relieve pollen allergies because of the small amounts of pollen that may help people build up a tolerance to it. Honey is also suggested as an anti-inflammatory agent.
How to Reduce Your Exposure to Allergy Triggers
You can improve your seasonal allergies this spring by reducing exposure to things that can trigger allergy symptoms!
- Stay inside on dry, windy days. These kinds of days have mass amounts of pollen, so staying inside could reduce your symptoms. Your best days to go outside will be right after it rains because the rain clears up some pollen from the air.
- Avoid lawn care activities like mowing, weed pulling, or gardening if you can. These jobs stir up allergens naturally.
- Remove your outer clothes when you come inside. Try to remove any clothes with pollen contact and shower as soon as possible to reduce the pollen in your hair and on your skin.
- This one may be extreme to you, but wearing a face mask if you do outside chores can help reduce your intake of pollen immensely!
Take Those Extra Steps to Reduce Pollen Exposure
The good thing about seasonal allergies is that because it affects millions a year, you can check your local television stations, newspapers, or the Internet to see the current pollen levels outside. When there are high levels forecasted, you can take allergy medication before exposure to reduce the allergy reactions! You can also use these pollen predictions to avoid the outdoors when needed.
It probably seems impossible to eliminate all the allergens from your home, but there are plenty of ways you can help keep the allergens reduced in your home. By using air conditioning in your house and car, you can create circulation to avoid inhaling as much pollen. You can also invest in a dehumidifier to keep your indoor air dry. Basic cleaning, like wiping down surfaces and vacuuming the floor, can also gather pollen throughout the day to reduce exposure.
Over the Counter Remedies
Of course, there are always medications that you can take when your home remedies do not quite help the way you need. There are different kinds to try over the counter.
- Oral antihistamines are ones like Zyrtec Allergy, Allegra Allergy, or Claritin. These help relieve itchy noses and throats, sneezing, or watery eyes.
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays are medications that aid nasal symptoms temporarily. These include Flonase Allergy Relief, Rhinocort Allergy, or Nasacort Allergy. Long-term use of these products should be discussed with your health provider.
- Cromolyn sodium nasal sprays are ones that ease allergies by blocking the release of immune system agents that cause allergy symptoms. These are best used before allergy exposure begins and must be used between four and six times daily to be truly effective.
- Oral decongestants include Sudafed, Zyrtec-D we Hour, Allegra-D 12 Hour Allergy and Congestion, or Claritin-D. They are primarily helpful for stuffy noses and can help with decongestants. These should be discussed with medical providers before use.
Prescriptions and Other Treatments for Allergies
Sometimes over-the-counter medication or other home remedy treatments are not enough. When your allergies are far more severe, it may take prescribed medical treatment. Speaking with your doctor can help you figure out what kind of treatment you should look into to treat your seasonal allergies.
Some providers will conduct skin tests or blood tests to find what triggers your symptoms, then be used to find what steps you need to take to avoid the triggers and prescribe the best treatment for your symptoms. Many people utilize allergy shots to ease seasonal allergies! These shots are known as allergen immunotherapy and can reduce the immune system reaction that causes your symptoms. Ask your doctor about this kind of treatment for your seasonal allergies.