Home Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

According to NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), about 35 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis (also known as seasonal allergies). From pollen floating in the air on a summer day to freshly cut grass in the fall, a host of allergens can trigger reactions that cost more than $1 billion in annual treatment costs. Home remedies for seasonal allergies not only offer cost-effective alternatives, but also prevent the overuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

seasonal allergies

What are Seasonal Allergies?

A seasonal allergy is an allergic reaction that occurs during a certain part of the year. Usually, pollen is at the center of this kind of allergy, which involves an adverse response to the reproduction of trees, weeds, and grasses. The worst seasons for allergies are spring and fall, when plants are at the height of pollination.

Causes of Seasonal Allergies

Spring Allergies: From January to April, beware of spring allergies triggered by pollinating trees. Trees that produce the most severe allergy reactions include oak, olive, elm, birch, ash, hickory, poplar, sycamore, maple, cypress and walnut. Depending on your location and climate, you may battle pollinating weeds that can trigger your allergy symptoms as well.

Summer Allergies: Grass pollen in the air causes the bulk of summer allergies between late spring and early summer. However, a person can suffer symptoms just by lying in the grass or mowing their lawn. Most often, grass causes itching and hives. In colder climates, timothy, rye, orchard, sweet vernal, red top, and blue grasses are behind the majority of allergic reactions. Bermuda grass is the major cause of summer allergies in locations with warmer climates.

Fall Allergies: Mostly triggered by weeds, fall allergies usually surface from late summer to early fall. Common weeds in the United States responsible for allergy symptoms include ragweed, sagebrush, pigweed, tumbleweed, and cocklebur. Some trees that pollinate in the fall can also cause allergies during this time of the year.

Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies are not a dangerous concern for sufferers. It’s simply an uncomfortable condition that can seriously hamper everyday activities. Clear, watery discharge may develop. Bouts of sneezing are common, and can occur two to three times in a row Individuals may also experience the following common symptoms of seasonal allergies: itchy throat, headache, swollen sinuses, and itchy, watery eyes.

Usually, symptoms arise between 5 to 10 minutes after exposure to an allergen has occurred. Sometimes, the symptoms subside within an hour, while others face symptoms that return two to four hours later. The overall duration of symptoms for seasonal allergies will last as long as an individual is exposed to an allergen.

Seasonal Allergy Home Remedies

A day at the beach or taking a morning walk in the summertime could prove detrimental to your allergies. In order to feel relief from the allergens trying to ruin your activities, consider the following home remedies for seasonal allergies:

a) Close Windows:

Keeping your windows closed during the seasons when nature is pollinating will lessen your contact with the allergens that trigger your symptoms.

b) Curb Morning Activities:

To avoid triggering or worsening seasonal allergies, it’s a good idea to decrease the number of activities you do in the morning. Pollen usually hits the air in full force between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.

c) Vitamin C:

Most fruits and vegetables provide enough vitamin C to deliver a boost to your immune system that helps combat seasonal allergy symptoms. Vitamin C also lowers the histamine level in your body.

d) Olive Leaves:

If you happen to have access to olive leaves, tap into the power of this natural anti-microbial, which can make an effective nasal spray. To create a home remedy for your seasonal allergies, steam olive leaves with essential oils.

e) Frequent Dusting:

Since dust is a powerful allergen and the cause of many allergies, it is important to frequently dust your home so that dust mites are unable to trigger symptoms. When dusting, don’t forget to cover your nose and mouth.

f) Saltwater:

Use nasal sprays comprised of saltwater to wash away pollen in your nose. This is a great way to also reduce your need for medication. Another plus – saltwater is an inexpensive approach towards combating seasonal allergy symptoms[1].

g) Anti-Inflammatory Foods:

There are certain fruits and vegetables that you can eat to decrease your response to seasonal allergies. For example, apples, onions, and bananas all possess anti-inflammatory properties that work wonders for the immune system.

h) Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

According to a German study, foods high in omega-3 fatty acids create the fewest allergy attacks. A couple of foods to note include tuna, walnuts, and salmon [2].

i) Hot Shower:

After being outside for an extended period of time, take a hot shower to clear the nasal passages of any pollen, as well as remove any excess allergens that may have collected in your hair.

j) Lime and Honey:

Squeeze half a lime into a glass of lukewarm water. Use one teaspoon of honey to sweeten the concoction. Every morning, drink a glass of the remedy, as it will help flush out toxins found in your system and combat the effects of allergens.

k) No Smoking:

Since tobacco causes and aggravates respiratory allergies, it’s suggested to make your household a no-smoking zone. Kick the habit if you’re guilty of having a cigarette or two. Also, do not let visitors smoke tobacco products inside your home.

Resources

[1] http://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/neti-pots

[2] http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/AllergyAndAsthmaResourceCenter/story?id=675663&page=2

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