There isn’t much to dislike about warm weather, sunny days, flowers in bloom and endless opportunities to get outdoors… except maybe the allergies that come with all those things. A good day can easily be turned into a miserable one when symptoms impact everything you try to do.
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), the amount of pollen released into the air during spring allergy season has been on the rise in recent years, with any early prediction for this year stating that it could potentially be the worst pollen season ever. The increase in pollen is said to have a lot to do with climate change where warmer weather has extended the growing season, resulting in more carbon dioxide — and therefore more pollen as well.
Rather than suffering, there are several changes you can make to naturally relieve and prevent allergy symptoms from sticking with you all day and all night long even when indoors:
Use a doormat. Adding a doormat both inside and outside every door of your home can help keep dirt, pollen, and pathogens from making their way indoors.
Leave your shoes at the door. Got that doormat? Don’t let your shoes go anywhere past it. If you have to grab something from inside, always take your shoes off first, and ask family members or roommates to do the same.
Reduce rugs and vacuum your carpets. All sorts of stuff can settle into rugs and carpets that can set off your allergy symptoms. It may be wise to remove any existing rugs and commit to a weekly vacuuming habit for carpeted floors.
Wash bedding regularly. Make sure to wash all sheets and pillows at least once a week in hot water. You can also take it a step further by investing in hypoallergenic bedding, pillow covers and mattress covers.
Wear clean clothes. It can be tempting to throw on a sweater or jacket after it’s been worn outside once already, but any allergens that have come into contact with it could trigger your symptoms. Aim to wear clean clothes every day and consider changing when you get home.
Shower after spending time outside. Those who like to shower at night can rest easy in knowing they’re not dragging any dirt or allergens into their beds with them. Make sure to wash your hair as well.
Keep windows and doors closed. You might enjoy a cool breeze flowing inside, but if allergies are a serious issue, you’re better off keeping those windows and doors shut — especially during early morning hours when plants release their pollen.
Drink more green tea. Research suggests that a compound found in green tea may block a cell receptor related to allergic reactions. It hasn’t been proven to work on humans as of yet, but why not try it anyway?
Up your omega-3 intake. While it may not do much of anything in terms of relieving existing symptoms, studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids from cold water fish or supplements can help boost the immune system and potentially reduce susceptibility to allergies.
Diffuse essential oils. Peppermint oil can instantly help unclog sinuses and relieve throat discomfort. Eucalyptus oil is another essential oil worth considering for its ability to open up sinuses and lungs to improve airflow.
Dealing with allergies shouldn’t have to be such a pain. Follow these tips and hopefully you’ll be on your way to a significantly more comfortable and sniffle-free season.