Spring has sprung and chances are…so have your allergies.  Approximately 40 million Americans suffer from allergies.  Allergies to pollen, also known as “hay fever”, can be caused by plants or trees blooming.  When plants bloom and set off pollen, it messes with a person’s histamine levels, which is what causes the symptoms that you may be all too familiar with.  Symptoms of pollen allergies can be sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, runny nose, coughing and sore throat…or basically,  just feeling miserable. 

Unless you want to lock yourself indoors (and even then, sometimes it doesn’t help) there are ways to prevent your allergies from getting out of control this season.  (If you have severe allergies you should consult your doctor.)

  • What is causing you allergies?  Is it a certain tree, bush or plant?  Once you’ve identified the culprit…avoid it.  If you can’t identify the cause of your allergies on your own, get an allergy test from your doctor. 
  • Keep windows and doors closed which can allow pollen into your home. 
  • Use air-conditioning in your car instead of rolling the windows down.
  • Avoid using window and attic fans; instead use air-conditioning to cool your home.
  • Change air filters regularly to prevent pollen buildup.
  • Pollen likes to use your pets to hitchhike into your home.  Wash, wipe and brush pets frequently when they’ve been outside. 
  • Dust and vacuum frequently to prevent pollen buildup.  Use a vacuum with a HEPA certification.
  • Run a HEPA air filter in your bedroom when you sleep at night.
  • Wear a respiratory mask when dusting, cleaning the inside of your home or mowing the lawn or doing yard work.
  • Wear sunglasses when outside to limit the amount of pollen in your eyes.
  • Remove clothing when coming in from outside in case you have any pollen on your clothes.
  • Do not hang laundry on a clothes line to dry.  Use the dryer instead.
  • Eat more salads.  Fruits and vegetables have high levels of quercetin, which helps to reduce histamine levels.
  • Eat more garlic.  Garlic is known to prevent and ease the cold and flu symptoms.  If you aren’t a fan of garlic…take garlic capsules.
  • Eat more honey.  Use locally made, unprocessed honey to get your body used to the pollen from local plants. 
  • Drink green tea.  Green tea is an antioxidant that can give relief to a stuffy nose.