Spring carries the promise of sweet-smelling blooms, pops of vibrant color and the warmth of new beginnings. But for many, that promise is a hazy dream. Runny noses, watery eyes and aching heads become the reality as seasonal allergies rain down on your fun like a sneeze on a good meal.
Luckily, there’s hope for seasonal allergy sufferers. It's possible to alleviate or even eliminate your allergy symptoms this year without inconvenient doctor visits or costly medications. Below are four simple and natural ways you can overcome your allergies to feel your best this spring.
Put out the pollen
When pollen counts are high, stay indoors with the windows shut. The milder weather may tempt you to let in the pleasant breeze, but doing so might fill your house with more sneeze-inducing, comfort-crushing pollen grains. Change your HVAC filter often, and consider using HEPA filter air purifiers to trap any pollen that does make it inside. You can monitor your area’s pollen count by visiting www.aaaai.org or by downloading the smartphone app for regular alerts.
Wash it away
Pollen can be a sneaky, savvy and tricky pest. It travels great distances unseen and affixes to parts of you—your hair, your clothes and your nose. So shutting out the wind may not be enough to bar pollen from your living space. After spending time outdoors, be sure to wash yourself and your clothes thoroughly. Remember that your dog or cat could be the most pollenated thing in your house. Keep them wiped down or rinsed off so that snuggling won’t lead to sneezing.
Water—drink more, breathe more
During pollen high tide, water can be your best weapon. Drinking more water can keep your mucus thin and your nasal passages clear. Breathing water in the form of steam can also diffuse mucus, which will cause it to drain, carrying away any allergens or pathogens you might have inhaled. A hot cup of tea is a great way to get hydration and steam all at once! And for a nose that’s already compromised, a nasal rinse kit or neti pot can do the trick. Just be sure to follow the product’s directions.
Try natural medicinal treatments
Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines are the go-to for many who are suffering from allergies, but research has shown that natural alternatives can be just as effective. Butterbur extract that is UPA-free and the plant Phleum pretense, or Timothy Grass, are two natural alternatives to traditional antihistamines that may help reduce or dispel seasonal allergy symptoms. Research the possible side effects of these treatments, and always consult your doctor before starting a new herbal or medicinal regimen.
Along with the above tips, it’s important to maintain a nutritious diet and an active lifestyle for a balanced immune system. Always remain in communication with your care providers while trying new home remedies or alternative treatments. Traditional antihistamines may still be necessary for managing your persistent moderate-to-severe allergy symptoms.
The spring season is all about growth and change. Don’t let seasonal allergies shackle your comfort and well-being for yet another year. This is your time to take control of your body and drink in all the beautiful sensations of the season!
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