With Spring comes beautiful weather, endless outdoor activities, and pain-in-the-butt Spring allergies. If you’re starting to suffer from symptoms like itchy eyes, sneezing, and runny nose, it’s quite possible that common allergens (think: pollen and grasses) are to blame. Read on for seven drug-free ways to nip Spring allergies in the bud!
Minimize Allergen Exposure
Keep airborne allergens out of your indoor environment by taking your shoes off outside, changing your clothes as soon as you come in the house, keeping windows closed, wearing a mask for yard work, cleaning air conditioning ducts and filters, and avoiding going outside when pollen levels are high.
If you’re a gym-in-the-morning kind of person, avoid outdoor activity, since mornings are when pollen counts are highest. Opt instead for an indoor workout at home or at the gym. During high-pollen season, the best time to exercise outdoors is during or right after the rain.
Eat the Right Foods
Certain foods may actually help you keep allergies at bay. Apples have antioxidants that may suppress the production of histamine. Fermented foods like yogurt boast beneficial probiotics thought to promote a healthy immune system and reduce the body’s response to allergens. Nuts and fish are loaded with fatty acids to help lower inflammation, which might be why research indicates that those who follow a Mediterranean diet are less likely to be plagued with allergy symptoms.
Keep Stress Levels Low
Studies show that stress can affect your allergies psychologically and physically. Stress can amplify your emotional reaction to symptoms you might be having, and it’s thought that stress hormones can ramp up the already exaggerated immune system response to allergens.
Rinse Your Sinuses
Rinsing your nasal passages with saline solution is a quick, inexpensive, and effective way to relieve nasal congestion because it flushes out mucus and allergens from your nose. You can pick up a squeeze bottle or a neti pot at your pharmacy or health food store.
Give Immunotherapy a Shot
Allergy shots (or desensitization) can be helpful. This treatment involves regular injections containing trace amounts of the substances that cause your allergies. Over time, these injections reduce the immune system reaction that causes symptoms. Not a fan of needles? Treatment can be given as tablets under the tongue for some allergies. Talk with your doctor about this possibility!
Use Breathe Right at Night
If you’re feeling stuffy, Breathe Right Extra Strength nasal strips are a great drug-free solution when nasal congestion is keeping you up at night. These extra-strength tan strips instantly open your nose 38 percent more than nasal decongestants alone and allow you to breathe better, helping you feel and sleep better.