A whopping 50 MILLION people in the United States alone suffer from seasonal allergies every year (myself included).  Sometimes allergies can make you feel absolutely awful, and can sometimes turn into something more serious, such as a sinus infection.  It feels like all you can do is sit back and wait for it to get better, but here’s a few tips that could get you back to normal sooner than you think.

DETERMINE THE CAUSE

First, you should find out exactly what it is that causes your allergies.  You can do this by going to an allergy clinic and having a test done.  The test consists of several small amounts of different common allergens being placed on your skin – pollen, ragweed, et cetera.  The skin is then pricked with a needle right on top to let it seep slightly into the skin.  Whichever sites swell up will determine what you are allergic to.  For example,  if your skin swells up when this is done with pollen, you are allergic to pollen. 

STAY INFORMED

Knowing what causes your allergies is the first step to being able to prevent them.  There are apps that will monitor the levels in your town (my favorite is called “Pollen”) and can alert you on days that a particular allergen is high.  This can give you fair warning to stay inside if possible.  You can also check the local news for information.

INVEST IN CLEANER AIR

Although you’re not perfectly safe from allergy attacks indoors, there are ways to make the air in your home more breathable.  Invest in an air purifier and change the filters regularly.  Make use of your air conditioner if you don’t already.  Vacuum and dust often!  De-humidifiers also help to keep the air clean.

SELF MEDICATE

Try oral antihistamines.  They can help significantly!  I take a 24 hour Allegra every day and it’s a game changer. Decongestants and nasal sprays will also be your best friend.

RINSE YOUR SINUSES

If you can get past the awkward feeling of squirting water up your nose, neti-pots and nasal squirt bottles can help clean out some of the extra gunk built up in your sinuses.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENTS

Although there’s not a lot of evidence to back this up, acupuncture has been said to help relieve allergy symptoms. Other alternative treatments include the use of herbs, such as butterbur or quercetin.

TRY ESSENTIAL OILS

Try putting a few drops of essential oils in your tea, a diffuser or a bath. Many have claimed that peppermint, tea tree, basil or eucalyptus helped to relieve their allergy symptoms. They also smell great and will relax you after a long day.

SEE YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN

If none of these options are bringing you relief, it may be time to see your doctor to make sure there are no underlying problems that require medical attention. A doctor may also provide treatments for you that require a prescription.