If you’re one of the millions of people who experience sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose at certain times of the year, you’ve probably spent a lot of time figuring out how to get rid of seasonal allergies.
Seasonal allergies are closely associated with spring when pollen counts are high. But you may also find yourself seeking allergy relief in the summer and fall, when various allergens are wafting through the air. In winter they are less common.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage your symptoms and get rid of seasonal allergies. This article covers eight ways you can significantly reduce your symptoms.
Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergies rhinitis, happen when your body overreacts to environmental stimuli. Many of these stimuli are seasonal, such as tree pollen in the spring. You experience seasonal allergies when there is a lot of the allergen around, and the symptoms go away when the allergen is no longer in the environment.
The symptoms of seasonal allergies are:
Preventing and treating seasonal allergies
All of these symptoms can leave you feeling miserable and wondering how to get rid of seasonal allergies. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make your seasonal allergies less severe and end the symptoms.
Avoid your triggers
The most important thing you can do to stop seasonal allergies is to limit your exposure to triggers. This is easier said than done, especially at times when tree pollen or ragweed is ubiquitous in your outdoor environment. It may mean spending less time outdoors during the peak season because of your allergies, wearing a mask and sunglasses, and taking a shower after being outside to remove pollen or other allergens from the skin’s surface. The less contact you have with your triggers, the less likely you are to experience symptoms.
Keep Windows closed
During peak allergy season, keep your doors and windows closed. This helps limit the number of allergens entering your home. If you’re craving fresh air, go outside for a walk when pollen counts are generally lower. Spring and summer tree and grass pollens are worse in the early morning, and it is recommended to wait until late morning or early afternoon (earliest) to engage in outdoor activities to reduce exposure to these pollens .
Use an air purifier
Even with windows closed, you probably have allergens in your home. Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to reduce their impact on you. These filters are designed to remove over 99% of small particles, including common allergens such as pollen, pet dander and mold.
Some people also benefit from using a humidifier. Humidified air can make the nostrils less susceptible to irritation and allergens, but humidifiers themselves can sometimes exacerbate allergens such as mold and dust mites. Talk to your healthcare provider about whether a humidifier can help your allergies.
Take extra precautions when pollen counts are high
During the spring, summer, and fall, it’s easy to find pollen counts for a particular region. These reports tell you if the amount of pollen in the air is low, medium, or high. On days when the number is higher, keep your windows closed, consider wearing a mask outside, or prevent your symptoms by taking medication.
Take over-the-counter medications
The best way to get rid of seasonal allergies before they start is to take over-the-counter medications. Antihistamineslike Claritin, or nasal corticosteroidssuch as Flonase (fluticasone), can be taken daily during allergy season to keep symptoms at bay. If your symptoms are less frequent, you can also take oral antihistamines to interrupt a seasonal allergy attack that has already begun. If necessary, the use of nasal steroids is less effective in controlling the symptoms.
Flush the sinuses
Flushing your sinuses can clear allergens and mucus from your nose, making you less likely to experience allergy symptoms. Use a saline solution from the drugstore or combine a cup of distilled or boiled water (once it cools) with half a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda. Do not use tap water.
Shower before going to sleep
Even with precautions, you are exposed to many irritants throughout the day. During the seasons when your allergies are at their worst, shower before bed. This removes pollen, mold spores, or other allergens from your skin, nasal passages, and hair. It also keeps you from being exposed while you sleep.
Some people can get rid of seasonal allergies by using natural remedies. These treatments don’t have much scientific support, but some people find them helpful. They include exercising regularly, getting enough vitamin D, eating local honey, and taking other supplements and vitamins. Talk to your healthcare provider about what alternative treatments may help you.
When to see a healthcare provider
Seasonal allergies are a fact of life for many people, but effective treatments are available. If you haven’t spoken to your healthcare provider about your allergies before, now is a good time to have the conversation. If you notice changes in your allergy symptoms or the times when you experience seasonal allergies, you should also talk to your healthcare provider.
Anytime you experience swelling of the face or throat, difficulty breathing, or other symptoms, call 911 or seek immediate medical attention.
Seasonal allergies can occur in the summer, spring, or fall. There’s no way to get rid of seasonal allergies completely, but you can make lifestyle changes and medications to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life during allergy season.
A word from very good
Seasonal allergies can be incredibly frustrating. Finding a care plan that works for you can help you feel more like yourself during allergy season. Talk to your healthcare provider about preventing seasonal allergies and managing symptoms during flare-ups.
Frequently Asked Questions
What month is allergy season?
How Long Do Seasonal Allergies Last?
Seasonal allergies persist as long as you are exposed to the allergen, often for several weeks at a time. Some people outgrow their seasonal allergies, but some have them for life.
What time of day are allergies the worst?
Allergies are often worse when pollen counts are highest. In the spring and summer, levels are highest in the morning and during the fall, they are highest in the evening.