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Spring: the sun is out more, the winter jacket is going back in the closet for a while, and there are far fewer excuses not to go outside. Unless, that is, you have seasonal allergies.
During spring, trees and other plants regrow their leaves; as a result, more pollen finds its way into the air. Pollen is the main cause of seasonal allergies, the symptoms of which resemble the common cold (plus, often, itchy eyes). If you’re eager to get outside in the nicer weather but just can’t keep those allergies at bay, here are seven simple tricks that could save you:
Keep The Windows Closed
On a nice spring day, it’s tempting to turn off the heat and open the windows to let some naturally cool, fresh air into your home. Unfortunately, this is a surefire way to bring pollen into your home — you’re pretty much bringing the outside world into your living space when you do this. Saving a bit on your utility bill isn’t worth all the sneezing, coughing, and itching!
Don’t Skimp on the Antihistamines
Antihistamines cut back or entirely halt the production of histamines, which your body makes in response to substances that cause allergic reactions. For some people, antihistamines are just a start — decongestants may also be necessary.
If your allergy symptoms pop up pretty much every time you step outside, you might want to consider wearing a mask. You can get a respiratory mask — the light blue nose and mouth covering that some people wear outside when they have a cold or the flu — at pretty much any drugstore.
Hydrate (Or Drink Hot Liquids)
If your allergy symptoms include runny nose or congestion, drinking hot liquids such as tea, soup, or broth can help clear your sinuses and nasal passages. No matter what your symptoms include, drinking water — whether hot or cold — will keep your body’s natural processes going, allowing you to best recover from your symptoms.
Make A Nasal Rinse
Nasal rinses can clear your nostrils of spores and other allergy-causing irritants. Combining water with baking soda and non-iodized salt makes a nasal rinse perfect for fending off allergy symptoms. Combine three tablespoons of salt and one teaspoon of baking soda. Then, take one teaspoon of the baking soda-salt mix and stir it into eight ounces of water that has cooled to room temperature after being boiled (or just buy distilled water). You can also purchase nasal rinse packets at any drugstore.
Keep Your Home — And Yourself — Clean
Whether you see it or not, every time you enter your home, you bring tons of outside matter with you. Microscopic pollen particles smaller than the human eye can see stick to your clothes and skin with any outdoor exposure, so wash off upon returning from a journey out. Additionally, regularly clean your home with vinegar- or baking soda-based agents that won’t irritate your nasal passages (which might already be taking quite the beating from allergens). Regular vacuuming or a HEPA air filter may help remove more particles from the home.
Try a Butterbur Plant
The plant butterbur is said to have antihistamine qualities, and its effects come without the potential drowsiness associated with over-the-counter brands such as Benadryl. Use it four times a day for a solution that might be as effective as drugstore brands, but without the lab-made chemicals.
What are some ways you keep your allergies from ruining your day? Let us know in the comments!