If you’re an allergy sufferer, you probably know all too well the feeling of being stuffed up with watery eyes and an itchy throat. Roughly 25 percent of the population suffers from some kind of allergy, with many of them being seasonal allergy sufferers. The good news is, there are several ways to combat those allergy symptoms and get back to living a normal life, including these six.
1. Limit your pollen exposure.
The best way to avoid allergy symptoms is to avoid the allergen altogether. While this may not always be possible with seasonal allergies, there are ways to reduce your exposure to the pollen that triggers the runny nose, watery eyes, and itchy throat. Pollen levels are highest from midday to late evening, so staying indoors during those hours if possible is the best way to limit your exposure to seasonal allergens.
2. Remove allergens from your clothing.
If you are exposed to pollen and other allergy triggers, removing them from your clothing and shoes as quickly is possible is the best way to keep them from spreading throughout your home. Remove and wash clothing immediately and wipe the bottom and tops of your shoes with a wet cloth to wash away any lingering allergens. Avoid sitting on any furniture before removing your contaminated clothes as soft surfaces trap allergens, making it difficult to completely get rid of them.
3. Take allergy medications before symptoms start.
For regular allergy sufferers, you know when your symptoms generally begin each year. To get a jump start on your symptoms, start taking allergy medications two weeks prior to when the allergy season starts. This helps the body prepare itself to fight off any invading allergens it may encounter. Only take medications as prescribed and consult with your doctor if you have any questions about your prescribed medications.
4. Clear out your nasal passages.
A natural remedy for allergy sufferers is a saline nasal rinse. It’s safe enough for even young children to use as it contains no harsh chemicals or substances. It’s also available over-the-counter, making it a simple solution to pick up on your next trip to the grocery store. Simply spray the nasal saline solution into each nostril once or twice daily, gently blowing the nose afterwards to remove any allergens.
5. Protect yourself whenever you’re outside.
If you do need to spend time outdoors during the hours when the pollen count is highest, wear protective gear like hats, long sleeves and pants, and sunglasses. All of these items help reduce your exposure to allergens and they can easily be washed upon entering your home. If you are severely allergic to outdoor allergens, you may need to wear a protective mask which eliminates the possibility of you inhaling potentially dangerous outdoor allergens.
6. Practice a healthy lifestyle.
An allergic response to something is the immune system’s way of protecting itself against whatever allergen its been exposed to. This is often a chronic condition that can wear the body out over time, making allergies even worse. To help strengthen the immune system, eat a healthy diet full of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and whole grain. Also make sure you get regular exercise and plenty of sleep each night. You may not be able to completely eliminate your allergic response, but you could greatly reduce it over time.
Living with allergies doesn’t mean you need to stop living. There are several easy ways to reduce allergy symptoms and get you back to feeling like yourself again. Even though spring is the peak allergy season, many people suffer from allergies straight through summer and into fall. Following these tips all year long is the best way to keep allergy symptoms at bay and improve the body’s immune system so that it can fight off allergens right away, leaving you less congested and much happier.