With the change of season, you’re either enjoying the outdoors or running from it. For many, this time of year brings on allergy symptoms like non-stop sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, or a runny nose if you’re allergic to ragweed or other types of pollen. Whether your allergies are so severe that you feel unproductive, limited from doing your normal routines like exercising, or simply unable to enjoy the great outdoors, one thing is true – they’re just no fun when they show up. Stop seasonal allergies from slowing you down by taking a few simple steps.
What can you do to stop seasonal allergies?
Thankfully, there are many ways to combat fall allergies. The most obvious, of course, is to avoid the source. If you have seasonal allergies in autumn, you may need to stay indoors as much as possible. That’s easier said than done, though, especially if you like apple picking, harvest festivals, pumpkin patches, and trick-or-treating. Here are some ways to keep your fall allergy symptoms at bay.
Neti Pot and Saline Rinse
Have you heard of the neti pot? While it might look a little intimidating at first, this tool can quickly become your nasal passage’s BFF during allergy season. It is used to rinse the sinuses with saline solution to flush out allergens and help you breathe better. You can make your own homemade saline solution from warm water and sea salt or himalayan salt, or purchase a kit like this one.
Essential oils can offer symptom relief when allergy symptoms flare. Oils that can help you breathe better include peppermint and eucalyptus. Chamomile and lavender can help soothe inflamed nasal passages. Some companies make blends specifically for better breathing and allergy relief. Use an essential oil diffuser or simply apply a few drops to a tissue and inhale the aroma. (These are some diffusers that we like).
Air pollution doesn’t just occur in the outdoors. So it’s important to keep the air in your home clean and filtered year-round, but this is especially beneficial during allergy season. Swap out your regular filters and replace them with HEPA (high efficiency particulate arresting) filters in your HVAC system. HEPA filters can remove very small allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander from the air so they doesn’t circulate through your home. HEPA filters are made for your home’s HVAC system, and most portable air purifiers also contain a HEPA filter as well. (This is the one I keep in my home office).
Vitamin C can help reduce histamines, which cause symptoms when you have an allergic reaction. Eat plenty of citrus fruits or leafy greens and consider taking a vitamin C supplement during allergy season as well.
Increasing your fluid intake in general can help combat allergies, but many herbal teas have special properties that can ease allergy symptoms. Try peppermint, chamomile, or special allergy blends.
Many allergy sufferers find relief from supplements like Goldenseal and Echinacea, which are said to boost immunity and reduce allergy symptoms.
Yoga and Meditation
While most people won’t associate yoga with allergy relief, it can help, especially if you’re under stress. Stress exacerbates allergy symptoms, and allergies can cause stress as well. Taking time for some gentle yoga and meditation can help ease both allergy symptoms and related stress.
Medications if Necessary
Consider using over-the-counter or prescription medications if your symptoms are severe. While it’s a good idea to try natural remedies first, you may need to consider antihistamine medications if you have severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to function.
Alicia Hyatte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Wellness Advocate, Health Educator, and a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. She helps parents to build healthier habits and routines to better balance home and work life. Her website, WholeFamilyLiving.com, provides motivation and simple strategies for handling everyday challenges like managing stress, being active, eating healthier, losing weight, and more. Alicia is a beach lover and gardening geek in her spare time.