Having allergies can turn life’s dreams into living nightmares for many! They can make everyday life seriously challenging for sufferers. But no more! Discover 9 easy home remedies for allergies that will help clear away those seasonal allergy symptoms.
So, as soon as the seasons start to turn, or your specific allergy triggers start kicking in, you know that those pesky allergy symptoms are going to start cropping up.
So what do you do when the itch begins? For many it’s a frantic search in Google or Bing looking for “home remedies for allergies” in an attempt to gain some form of relief.
While for many people the annual pharmaceutical script and allergy medication does help them to manage and ease their symptoms, other experts swear that by making just a few small changes to your daily routine bring about just as much symptom relief.
“I think many people would prefer making lifestyle changes but that can often be really hard. So my approach is to show them how simple making a few lifestyle changes can be. Just follow these tips in a step-by-step fashion. No detoxing, no cleansing, no fuss no stress ”Kara Wada, M.D., Assistant Professor of Allergy and Immunology
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Before you start using natural allergy relief as your solution of choice, it is important to get fully allergy tested first and have a good discussion with your doctor. The reason is simple. If you don’t know what you are actually allergic to, there is really no way to know what, if anything, will give you relief.
With allergies, your body is having an exaggerated response to something that should be harmless. So it’s really important to figure out what your trigger is.
Different types of skin and blood testing are available, depending on your symptoms and medical history.
Getting allergy testing helps you recognize your triggers and learn what specific techniques may be most useful and worthy of your time, energy and money.
Clear Seasonal Allergy Symptoms With These 9 Easy Natural Remedies.
Here’s the steps and what we suggest you do now you’re armed with all the information.
1. Avoid pollen
It is impossible to control the weather, and of course you can’t stay inside forever! So keeping yourself out of the way of pollen can be especially tricky.
To begin it is important that you limit your outdoor activity during times of the day when pollen counts tend to be at their highest. This usually cumulates and is most prevalent at dawn and dusk. You can download an app for your smartphone to track levels.
On top of that, if you do need to go outdoors during peak pollen levels, wearing a face mask might help. In fact, 30% of people in a recent study1The effect of face mask usage on the allergic rhinitis symptoms in patients with pollen allergy during the covid-19 pandemic said their seasonal allergies improved when they wore a surgical face mask outside, and that number improved to 40% when they wore an N95 mask.
When you return home and head back indoors, we recommend you change your clothes to remove any pollen that might be stuck to you. We also recommend keeping windows closed to prevent pollen building up indoors.
2. Try acupuncture or Acupressure.
Currently evidence is growing, based on a small number of research studies2Acupressure in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled exploratory trial, and suggests acupuncture, or acupressure, may be of benefit for some people, particularly those with allergic rhinitis or hay fever symptoms.
While there needs to be more research and further studies done before results can be totally conclusive, the theory is that acupuncture aims to help those suffering from allergies by stimulating nerves which are located in the muscles and muscle tissues.
When these nerves are stimulated it results in our body releasing endorphins and other neurochemical messengers around the body. This release changes the way our body processes pain via the spinal cord and brain.
The needles set off a chain reaction that:
- helps reduce inflammation caused by irritants and allergies;
- As inflammation reduces our respiratory system and nasal passages are able to open;
- When the respiratory system opens our oxygenation levels regain normality;
- Less inflammation, greater airflow and optimal oxygenation results in reduction of pain.
Two other theories for how acupuncture and acupressure help to reduce symptoms of allergy are:
- Acupuncture treatments may be the only time in the day you get to relax and remove yourself from the stressors of day-to-day life. Stress, anxiety and worry exacerbates allergy symptoms especially those that are caused by environmental factors.
- As your mind relaxes, a knock-on effect is experienced by the physical body and it relaxes also. When your body relaxes, pressure in and around the head, neck, sinuses, nose, throat and chest reduces.
In combination these 5 stages caused via acupuncture is what helps to relieve allergy symptoms, restore balance to the body and alleviate associated pain.
The above video provides the same solution for those who cannot be tempted to try the needles.
At just over a minute long the video is well worth viewing. It explains how to self administer the acupressure, and fear not, the treatment will do no harm. In fact it may well hold the potential to help. It is well worth giving acupressure a shot if you are struggling to deal with allergy and symptoms.
3. Neti Pots For Rinsing nasal passages.
Sinus saline rinses have proven to be effective tools for reducing allergy symptoms and increasing mucous clearance. Rinsing with saline is extremely helpful for flushing out allergens with studies3Saline irrigation for allergic rhinitis showing an increase of up to 30% in mucous reduction.
A Neti Pot is a great way to get this job done, with the rinsing helping to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Remember that if you use a Neti Pot or other rinsing product you need to use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water, per the recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Water straight from the tap isn’t safe to use as a nasal rinse because it can contain bacteria and protozoa that could cause potentially serious infections if used in your nasal passages.
Nasal irrigation is an excellent and easy remedy to use for easing symptoms of allergies, but does come with one caveat. If you use any other medication that is administered nasally, such as nasal steroids, you need to make sure to remember to use the neti pot first.
Some nasally administered medications are surprisingly slow to be absorbed and if you rinse with the Neti Pot afterwards you may wash the other medication away.
4. Cool and Cleanse eyes
Most people will know that in the same way that we use nasal irrigation, we can use water based artificial tears to ash and clear allergens out of irritated, sore and itchy eyes.
However there is an additional step that can be included. This provides greater relief, benefits eye comfort, and is simple to achieve. Simply keep your bottle of artificial tears in your fridge.
You can use the water to flush your eyes while enjoying the soothing relief it provides simply by being just a little cooler. The cold water helps soothe eyes that have become irritated by pollen and allergens.
If you are someone that can’t tolerate having to self administer eye drops you have another option. After you flush your eyes simply replace the cold water rinse with a chilled face cloth or compress.
5. Eat a healthy Anti-inflammatory Diet.
If you haven’t already started, now is the time to switch to a plant based, anti-inflammatory eating program. We recommend this because research shows that a balanced, anti-inflammatory diet with minimal processed and high fat food helps to support functioning of your immune system, as well as your overall health, and your ability to fight allergies.
Some foods in particular may help reduce inflammation and lower allergy symptoms:
- Onions and apples contain a substance called quercetin, which has antihistamine properties that help people with allergies.
- Citrus fruits provide vitamin C, which can support functioning of your immune system.
- Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, so if your allergies are causing problems or drainage or a sore throat, ginger tea may help relieve symptoms.
Make adjustments at home
If indoor allergies are getting you down, a few tweaks to your home environment can make a huge difference.
We recommend placing HEPA filters throughout your home. They are widely regarded as the best in the industry and work by filtering allergens, such as dust mites and pet dander from the air.
6. Filter Out Those Allergens!
Along those same lines, as HEPA filters, you can also use a dehumidifier. These can help to remove excess moisture from the air in damp areas such as basements. Your dehumidifier will also prevent the growth of allergens like mold.
During peak pollen periods, and when you notice that your allergies flair up, spend extra attention to indoor allergen collectors such as carpets and rugs. These are easily sorted by a daily vacuum.
Make sure that you wash your bedding at least weekly. When you wash ensure it is in hot water and then dry at high heat . This will kill off any dust mites.
While you wash your bedding pay attention to your exposed mattress. Giving it a thorough vacuuming will help reduce dander and dust mites. Even so, to prevent the build up of allergens and mites it is recommended that you change your mattress around every seven years.
Encasing your mattress and pillows in allergen-proof covers can also help. Lastly, if you’re allergic to any animal in the home, we recommend bathing those beloved pets weekly to decrease their dander.
7. Drink water – 9 Easy Home Remedies For Allergies.
We all know how important drinking water its. Without enough water, the human body struggles to function, and if deprived of water we would eventually die.
Recent studies4Dehydration affects exercise-induced asthma and anaphylaxis suggest that dehydration can lead to an increase in histamines in the body, which is often the cause for your allergic reaction.
Staying hydrated is essential for your health and for treating allergies. By drinking water you help the body rid itself of any built up histamines.
Another thing to remember if you are taking antihistamines, is they can lead to dehydration so you will want to stay on top of your water intake. Make sure you stay well hydrated.
8. Manage stress
For some people, yoga or tai chi, is a great stress relief option. For others, it’s reading, going for a walk, doing jigsaw puzzles, or talking to friends. You can help relieve your allergies by finding out what activities help you to relax and reduce your stress. Then, as hard as it may be, do your best to make time in your busy life to enjoy it.
Studies show that stress can exacerbate allergic reactions. Therefore the more you can minimize stress the better your body may react to allergens.
9. Shower when you get home.
Even though we can’t see most of them, the pollens and other allergens actually stick to your body and clothing while you’re out and about. Showering helps clear the pollen that has attached itself to your skin and hair during the day.
By showering before bed and slipping into clean bedding you give your skin and body a break from allergen exposure during sleep. This is prime time that your body needs to enter into recovery mode.
Wear a mask outside
Masks don’t just lower your risk of contracting COVID-19, they can also help you with your allergies. Face masks are very effective protection against allergens and if worn when outdoors you will notice your symptoms will reduce dramatically.
Don’t touch your nose and face when you’re outside.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has made plenty of us aware of just how often we touch our face. But it is something we need to remember and pay attention too. When you touch your face and eyes while outside you run the risk of rubbing pollen into them. This increases your risk of developing allergy symptoms.
Try to remember to wash your hands before you touch your nose and eyes. If you can’t get to a bathroom for soap and water, have a pack of moist towelettes on hand!
Try to stay inside after thunderstorms.
Rain should help flush pollens off items. While rain showers may temporarily clear the pollen from the air thunderstorms are different. They can actually increase the pollen count because the associated lightning and winds stir pollens up and increase the spread of allergens.
Remove excess moisture from your kitchen.
Moisture provides a perfect habitat for the build up of mold and mildew in your home. If you are allergic to these, you could see increased allergic reactions if you don’t prevent the moisture build up.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) recommend using an exhaust fan regularly to reduce moisture in your kitchen.
And Now For 2 Natural solutions that don’t work
Not every home remedy you hear about is a home run. These often-touted natural solutions don’t have the research to back up their use.
- Honey: While local honey may be delicious, it does not contain enough of the correct types of pollen to have any effect close to that of immunotherapy.
- Essential oils: There is evidence that aromatherapy and essential oils bring relief to many conditions. However there is no evidence to suggest that essential oils help with allergies and their strong scents may actually worsen symptoms in some people, especially those with overreactive or inflamed nasal passages.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. Do let me know if you try these natural remedies and share how you got on!
- 1The effect of face mask usage on the allergic rhinitis symptoms in patients with pollen allergy during the covid-19 pandemic
- 2Acupressure in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis: a randomized controlled exploratory trial
- 3Saline irrigation for allergic rhinitis
- 4Dehydration affects exercise-induced asthma and anaphylaxis