Spring has sprung. And unfortunately, so have your seasonal allergies. Watery eyes, runny nose, itchy throat, coughing, sneezing, nasal congestion…clearly, Mother Nature has it out for you.
Regardless of your symptoms, one thing is certain. You want—no, you need—immediate relief. Well, you can breathe easy. We’ve identified five natural ways to combat allergens this spring.
Minimize pollen exposure
Pesky pollen. It can take the zing right out of a beautiful spring day. To help keep itching, sniffling and other aggravating symptoms at bay, try to limit your exposure to the common allergen. That means resisting the urge to throw open your windows and avoiding the outdoors from mid-day through the afternoon, when pollen counts are highest. If you absolutely must venture outdoors, be sure to wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses and shower immediately (don’t forget to wash your hair!) when you return home.
Spring clean your home
Spring is synonymous with cleaning, and allergies are just one more reason to tackle grease and grime. To rid your abode of dust, pollen, mold and other irritants, keep your windows closed and remove your shoes at the door so you don’t track in any allergens. Dust and wipe down surfaces, vacuum regularly and keep pets off furniture (dust mites are drawn to your dog’s dander!). Also, set you’re a/c to recirculate and be sure to keep an eye out for excess moisture if you’re allergic to mold.
Rinse your nasal passages
Feeling stuffy? Experts recommend using a nasal irrigation pot, more commonly known as a neti pot, to help keep your nasal passages clean and clear during spring allergy season. Simply prepare a nasal cleansing salt solution according to package directions and pour the mixture into an neti pot to relieve nasal dryness, and help rid your nasal passages of dust, pollen and excess mucus. This easy-to-use neti pot is even dishwasher safe! Just be sure to follow the FDA’s regulations for safe use.
Adhere to a healthy lifestyle
An allergic disorder is essentially a chronic disease of the immune system. Watching what you eat and exercising regularly can boost immunity and therefore help fight off an allergy attack. If you adhere to a nutrient-rich diet and engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week, you may help reduce the severity of allergy symptoms. Being in otherwise good health isn’t necessarily an allergy deterrent, but a strong immune system can go a long way toward better tolerating allergens.
Keep your stress in check
Chronic stress can exacerbate your allergy symptoms. Addressing the underlying cause of stress can help reduce you’re the pressure you’re feeling and keep allergic reactions to a minimum. Other pointers for keeping stress in check include getting sufficient sleep and engaging in coping methods, such as journaling, reading, taking a walk, meditating or practicing yoga, when stress levels are high.