Aah, spring. That long awaited season when the thermometer inches up and we emerge from our winter dens into the great outdoors. Such a happy time for most, those April showers that bring May flowers, can also mean puffy eyes, stuffed noses and scratchy throats for others.
That’s right – we’re talking spring allergies. Those obnoxious irritants that turn a happy and exciting season into a nightmare. Even if you’re someone who takes medication to alleviate your spring allergies, these six at-home tips can help ease your symptoms so you can get out and enjoy the changing season.
1. Know Your Triggers
To truly combat your allergies, you need to know what you’re up against. Louisville pediatric allergist James Subleet, MD says he has seen “people get rid of their beloved pet [before] learning the pet wasn't causing the allergy.” Avoid this mistake by making an appointment with an allergist for a skin test to help identify your triggers.
2. Filter Your Air
Filtering your air to keep allergy triggers away can help ease your symptoms. You can install special air filters in your furnace and air conditioning systems that can remove 90% to 95% of particles from your indoor air. More immediate solutions are to close doors and windows when outdoor pollen counts are high to keep your indoor air as pristine as possible.
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
A recent study found that kids who ate a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts -- particularly grapes, apples, oranges, and tomatoes -- had fewer allergy symptoms. While the connection between diet and nasal allergies isn’t conclusive just yet, eating a healthy diet is known to do wonders for the body in general. Start small and add one fresh fruit and vegetable to each meal.
4. Use a Nasal Rinse
Help clear out your nasal cavity by reaching for a nasal rinse. These products can also help clear out bacteria, thin mucus, and help decrease postnasal drip. Neti pots or nasal bulbs are a great tool. Simply mix 1/2 teaspoon salt with a pinch of baking soda in 8 ounces of warm distilled or sterilized water, lean over a sink and gently flush one nostril at a time.
5. Drink More Fluids
If spring allergies have you feeling congested, try drinking more fluids to help thin the mucus in your nasal passages. Hot liquids like teas, broth, or soup may be especially soothing because the steam can help with decongestion, as well as relieve sore throats.
6. Go For Steam
Taking a steaming-hot bath is a simple way to relieve nasal congestion. If you’re not a fan of baths or can’t find the time, sitting over a hot bowl or sink full of water with a towel over your head can also provide similar relief.
Do you get spring allergies? How do you alleviate your symptoms?