It’s that time of the year: the weather is getting warmer, which also means more pollen is being produced as trees and flowers bloom. If you have outdoor allergies, spring can be a difficult season to get through. Scratchy throat, nasal congestion, itchiness, and sneezing are all symptoms of allergies. For me (with both indoor and outdoor allergies) the transition from winter to spring is the worst season. After over twenty years of experiencing terrible allergies, here are three tips that have helped me alleviate my allergy symptoms.
Consider purchasing an air purifier
I wasn’t a believer in air purifiers for a long time. I thought they were just overpriced marketing ploys that were mildly effective at best. Due to the “stay at home” initiative this season I decided to take the plunge and purchase one. I noticed a substantial difference almost immediately.
Living in a small NYC apartment, my air purifier has literally been a game-changer. It gets rid of bad odors from the dog or cooking, and most importantly, my allergy symptoms have been reduced by at least 50%. There are now times this season that I can go without allergy medication, which has never been the case.
I am now rotating my air purifier between the bedroom and living room, and am considering purchasing a second one so I don’t need to move it every day. It’s possible the effectiveness is enhanced because my apartment is relatively small, so I would look at the square footage recommendation to decide what size purifier is right for you.
This is my air purifier and I would highly recommend it. Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn a commission from qualifying purchases – there is no difference in price to you if you decide to purchase, but it will help me support this site.
Clean your living space, your clothes, and keep the windows shut
Unfortunately if you have outdoor allergies, pollen will get everywhere. If you go outside, it will get on your clothes. If you open the windows, it will enter your living space. In order to mitigate the amount of pollen and other outdoor allergens that sneak in, it’s best to leave the windows closed. If you need to air out a room consider doing so on a rainy, not windy, low pollen day.
If you go outside you should change your clothes once you get in, as pollen can cling to it. It’s equally important to keep your sheets and bedding washed often because what does end up coming in will linger and can disrupt your sleep.
If you have rugs or carpet, make sure to vacuum consistently. Dust buildup can also be an issue if you have wooden floors or if you have a lot of exposed surfaces (such as open shelving). If you have a pet, dander can also get everywhere, so even if the surface looks clean it’s important to keep a consistent cleaning schedule.
Try a neti pot for natural relief or a nasal spray. If those do not help, allergy medication and therapy shots (immunotherapy) are effective.
After doing all the preventative measures for allergy relief, you might still have symptoms. The first most natural way to get some nasal relief is with a neti pot. It might not be pretty, but it can be very effective at clearing your airways. Just make sure to take the necessary safety precautions, such as using sterile water. Nasal spray, such as Flonase, can also be one other option to help with sinus issues.
Allergy medication is always an option but I’ve found it can cause side effects such as fatigue. Try different antihistamines to figure out what is best for your body. Also consider the generic versions – they are usually much cheaper, and I’ve noticed no difference in effects when using them versus a brand name.
Immunotherapy, or allergy shots, has helped me but it is not a cure-all. I’ve got through two rounds – one when I was a teenager – and one about five years ago. Both “rounds” were over the course of 3-5 years. They require you to go to the allergist weekly at first, then bi-weekly, then monthly, etc. until you reach your maximum intake. I have noticed an improvement in my allergies and now don’t need to take allergy medication every day through the spring season. I’m able to be comfortable around my dog (granted, he’s non-shedding) who I should be allergic to. If it’s a bad pollen day though, I will still take allergy medication to help with my symptoms.