Many think that seasonal allergies are only active during the warmer seasons, especially springtime when flowers and trees are blooming. While it’s true that pollen is at its highest levels during the warmer months, we’re exposed to allergens on a daily basis, no matter the weather outside.
In fact, during the warmer months, as we spend more time indoors, we may be even more likely to be exposed to allergens, especially dust, pet dander, and indoor mold. Thankfully there are ways to treat allergies and its side effects.
Here are 4 seasonal allergies remedies that will minimize sneezing, coughing, and other allergy symptoms.
1. Avoid Allergens
When it comes to seasonal allergies, there are two main culprits: weed pollens and molds. When it comes to seasonal allergies, there are two main culprits: weed pollens and molds. Ragweed, one of the most common types of pollen and allergens, is found in most fields, vacant lots, and even along roads. A ragweed plant can produce up to a billion pollen grains in a single season. Because the grains are so lightweight, they can then travel up to 400 miles.
The other most common seasonal allergy is mold. Outdoor molds grow in a variety of places, including leaves, hay, straw, and vegetation. After rain, mold counts in the air increase.
One of the best remedies for seasonal allergies is to avoid them as much as possible. On days when there is a high pollen count, stay indoors as much as possible. If you must go outside, wait until the afternoon time as pollen levels are highest in the morning. Keep an eye on the weather along with pollen counts. If there is high levels or rain predicted, take proactive measures to minimize allergy symptoms.
2. Take Protective Measures
Aside from staying indoors as much as possible during high pollen seasons, there are many other preventative measures that you can take to minimize, if not eliminate your exposure to allergens. In turn you’ll experience milder symptoms.
When outdoors, wear a protective mask. This is especially important if you’re doing yard work or gardening. It’s also important to remove and wash any clothes that you wear outdoor as pollen tends to stick to soft fabric.
You can also take protective measures indoors. Be sure that your home uses a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter so that pollen spores are trapped, eliminating the chance of them floating into the air. You’ll also want to change the filters often so that they work effectively.\
Other protective measures include:
- Washing your hands
- Protecting your eyes with sunglasses
- Ensuring pets are clean
- Keeping tabs on pollen counts daily
With the proper protective measures, you can greatly reduce the amount of allergens that you’re exposed to day-to-day.
3. Use Over-the-Counter Medications
There are a wide range of over-the-counter medicines that are available to treat seasonal allergy symptoms. If OTC medication doesn’t work, you can meet with an allergist to discuss a stronger prescription medication.
The most common treatment option for seasonal allergies is oral antihistamines. Medications such as Claritin, Allegra, and Benadryl all work well in minimizing symptoms and reducing inflammation. These drugs work by preventing the body from creating more histamine, which is created during an allergic reaction.
Nasal sprays work really well for eliminating symptoms. Sprays such as Nasonex and Flonase reduce inflammation in the nose lining, which helps to relieve pressure and congestion. Nasal sprays contain corticosteroids and are typically used on a daily basis all year round.
Other treatment options for seasonal allergy symptoms include nasal irrigation, decongestants, and eye drops.
4. All-Natural Options
Not a fan of over-the-counter medicines? There are plenty of all natural treatments that have shown to help with seasonal allergy symptoms.
Dealing with itchy eyes? Butterbur has proven to be just as effective in treating itchy eyes as an oral antihistamine. To minimize inflammation, eat plenty of pineapple and papaya, which are both high in bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme and can make breathing much easier by reducing swelling in the passageways.
While no studies have been conducted, many believe that eating locally sourced honey is also helpful in minimizing your allergic reaction over time. The idea is that by consuming honey, you’re also exposed to the pollen that bees collect when creating it.
Several other natural remedies to consider include:
- Stinging nettle
Just remember that natural treatments can take a little more time to show their effectiveness, so be patient when trying these options!
Dealing with seasonal allergies is never a fun experience. With these four remedies you can enjoy your time spent outdoors without having to worry about pollen, ragweed, and other allergens causing you to sneeze, cough, or itch.