Deal with seasonal allergies quickly

Deal with seasonal allergies quickly

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Spring brings flower buds and blooming trees, but it also brings sneezing, congestion, a runny nose, and other bothersome symptoms to the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever and allergic rhinitis, can be debilitating. However, before you settle for plastic flowers and artificial turf, try these simple strategies for managing seasonal allergies.

Reduce your exposure to allergens.

To reduce your exposure to the things that cause your allergy symptoms and signs (allergens), do the following:

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days. After a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air, is the best time to go outside.
  • Avoid lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening tasks that may expose you to allergens.
    Remove any clothing you wore outside and take a shower to remove pollen from your skin and hair.
  • Laundry should not be hung outside because pollen can adhere to sheets and towels.
  • If you have to do outside chores, put on a face mask.


When pollen counts are high, take extra precautions.

Seasonal allergy symptoms and signs can worsen when there is a lot of pollen in the air. You can reduce your exposure by taking the following steps:

  • Pollen forecasts and current pollen levels can be found on your local TV or radio station, in your local newspaper, or on the internet.
  • If high pollen counts are expected, begin taking allergy medications as soon as your symptoms appear.
  • If possible, close doors and windows at night and at other times when pollen counts are high.
  • Avoid going outside in the early morning when pollen counts are at their peak.

Keep your indoor air clean

There is no magic product that can remove all allergens from your home's air, but the following suggestions may help:

  • Use air conditioning in both your home and your car.
  • If your home has forced air heating or cooling, use high-efficiency filters and adhere to regular maintenance schedules.
  • Using a dehumidifier, you can keep the indoor air dry.
  • In your bedroom, use a portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
  • Use a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner to clean the floors on a regular basis.

Try an over-the-counter medication

A variety of over-the-counter medications can help alleviate allergy symptoms. They are as follows:

  • Antihistamines taken orally. Sneezing, itching, a stuffy or runny nose, and watery eyes can all be relieved with antihistamines. Cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy), fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy), and loratadine are examples of oral antihistamines (Claritin, Alavert).

  • Nasal corticosteroid sprays These medications help to alleviate nasal symptoms. Fluticasone propionate (Flonase Allergy Relief), budesonide (Rhinocort Allergy), and triamcinolone are a few examples (Nasacort Allergy 24 Hour). Consult your doctor about the long-term use of corticosteroid nasal sprays.

  • Nasal spray containing cromolyn sodium. This nasal spray can help with allergy symptoms by preventing the release of immune system agents that cause them. It works best if treatment begins prior to allergen exposure. It is considered a very safe treatment, but it must be used 4 to 6 times per day.

  • Decongestants taken orally. Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and other oral decongestants can provide temporary relief from nasal stuffiness. Some allergy medications are a combination of an antihistamine and a decongestant. Cetirizine-pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D 12 Hour), fexofenadine-pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D 12 Hour Allergy and Congestion), and loratadine-pseudoephedrine are some examples (Claritin-D). Consult your doctor to see if using a decongestant to treat your allergy symptoms is a good idea.

  • Nasal spray containing cromolyn sodium. This nasal spray can help with allergy symptoms by preventing the release of immune system agents that cause them. It works best if treatment begins prior to allergen exposure. It is considered a very safe treatment, but it must be used 4 to 6 times per day.

Wash your sinuses

Nasal irrigation (rinsing your nasal passages with saline solution) is a quick, inexpensive, and effective way to relieve nasal congestion. Rinsing flushes mucus and allergens directly from your nose.

Saline solutions can be purchased ready-made or as water-additive kits. To reduce the risk of infection, use bottled water when using a kit or making your own saline solution.

1 quart (1 litre) of water, 1.5 teaspoons (7.5 millilitres) of canning salt, and 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) of baking soda should be used in homemade solutions.

After each use, rinse the irrigation device with clean water and leave it open to air dry.

Alternative therapies

A variety of natural remedies have been used to treat the symptoms of hay fever. Extracts of the shrub butterbur, spirulina (a type of dried algae), and other herbal remedies may help alleviate symptoms. There is insufficient evidence to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of these treatments based on the small number of well-designed clinical trials.

Acupuncture studies have yielded mixed results, indicating that it may have a limited benefit.

Before attempting alternative treatments, consult with your doctor.

When home remedies are insufficient

For many people, avoiding allergens and taking over-the-counter medications is sufficient to alleviate symptoms. But if your seasonal allergies continue to bother you, don't give up. There are a variety of other treatments available.

If you have severe seasonal allergies, your doctor may advise you to have skin or blood tests to determine which allergens are causing your symptoms. Testing can help you figure out what steps you need to take to avoid your specific triggers and which treatments are most likely to work for you.

Allergy shots (allergen immunotherapy) may be a good option for some people. This treatment, also known as desensitisation, entails regular injections of tiny amounts of the substances that cause your allergies. These injections gradually reduce the immune system reaction that causes symptoms. Some allergies can be treated with tablets taken under the tongue.