allergy season

During this allergy season take these 7 steps to ease your discomfort.

July 31, 2017 by Dr. Geoffrey Bacon, MD

7 Steps to Take During Allergy Season

Allergy season can cause many Americans problems.  Read on to find out 7 steps you can take to offer some relief this allergy season.

Sometimes you can stop the allergies altogether. But most patients are simply looking to manage their symptoms so they can live a more comfortable life. 

The good news is that it can! 

But what if allergy season could be more pleasant? 

There are various types of allergies, some even fatal. But, seasonal allergies shouldn't be disregarded -- they can be quite uncomfortable and affect your ability to participate in normal day-to-day activities. 

With 50 million other Americans suffering from seasonal allergies, you're not alone in your discomfort and irritation. 

When that time of year rears its ugly head again, you're likely filled with dread. You may feel like your seasonal allergy symptoms will never ease up.

1. Be Aware of Your Triggers And Take Precautions During Allergy Season

Allergy season relief

Mold, pollen, and grass are the most common types of seasonal allergies - but it's imperative to find out what precisely your triggers are. 

Once you identify these, you can take measures to avoid them. You can do this by visiting a doctor and having allergy tests done. 

It's not possible to avoid seasonal allergies completely, especially pollen. Because let's face it, spring comes and the never-ending fields of yellow weeds pop up everywhere. 

But once you've established your triggers, you can take precautions to lessen your symptoms. 

 A Few Precautions You Can Take During Allergy Season:

  • Avoid gardening, mowing the lawn, etc. Or wear a protective mask during the task.
  • Wash your hair before going to bed and wash clothes worn outside frequently.
  • Take your shoes off before entering your home. 
  • Stay updated and watch for when pollen counts are high - stay indoors during this time if possible.
  • Use an air filter in your home.
  • Vacuum often and keep your home clean and dust-free. 

2. Change Your Diet

It's been proven that our gut health affects many things, like our mood, weight, and overall health and well-being. But now it's being suggested that your gut health may have a lot to do with seasonal allergies. 

Seasonal allergies are generally brought on by our immune system responding to an outside factor, says one expert. With 70% of our immune system being related to our gut health, this makes perfect sense. 

Introducing probiotics is an excellent start to better gut health. Fermented foods like yogurt and drinks like Kefir are great options. Also, eating a fiber-rich diet is essential for optimal gut health.  

What Foods Should You Avoid?

  • Processed foods
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Sugar
  • Dairy Products
  • Soy
  • Wheat

It's also recommended to do an elimination diet with some of these foods (mainly dairy, soy, wheat and sugar), to see which ones, if any, are triggering a flare-up. If you find by a process of elimination that certain foods are causing allergy flare-ups, it's time to eliminate that food from your diet, for good. 

3. Get Your Beauty Sleep

It's no secret that adequate sleep is essential to your overall physical and mental well-being. It's even suggested that getting enough shut-eye helps you live longer. 

But, getting enough sleep every night is also essential for your immune system, therefore, it can help relieve your seasonal allergies. 

Though sleeping can prove challenging during allergy season, there are several things you can do to make it a bit easier.

Get Better Sleep By:

  1. Showering before bed.
  2. Keeping your bedding, sheets, and pillow clean and update frequently.
  3. Use a humidifier to keep the inside of your home clean.

4. Keep Stress to a Minimum

I'm sure we can all agree that stress isn't good for anyone. But this is especially for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. 

A study found that when your body is under stress, your allergy symptoms get worse and can result in increased flare-ups. 

Yet another reason to try and reduce stress in your life. 

A Few Ways to Manage or Reduce Stress:

  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Breathing exercises
  • Take a bath with Epsom salt
  • Journal to decrease stress 

5. Utilize Essential Oils

Essential oils can be used to reduce the symptoms in seasonal allergies, as well as food allergies and hives. A common method is to diffuse these oils for allergy relief. 

The best essential oil combination that works as a natural antihistamine is peppermint oil, lavender oil, and lemon oil. It also decreases the inflammatory response to known allergens. 

Other Essential Oils That Help Aid in Allergy Symptoms:

  • Basil Oil (reduces inflammatory response)
  • Chamomile (another anti-inflammatory)
  • Eucalyptus Oil (opens lungs and improves airflow.

6. Try a Natural Approach

There are countless holistic methods you can try to relieve your allergy symptoms. 

Butterbur has been shown to help hay fever and headaches. Purple Butterbur has been said to be the best but it's difficult to get your hands on.

Local honey may also help relieve allergy symptoms. It's said that local honey has pollens in it that can strengthen your immune system over time. 

Apple cider vinegar is becoming widely popular for its multiple uses. But because it helps to improve your PH balance, it can prove helpful for your gut health and even for inflammation. 

7. Seek Professional Help

Occasionally this step isn't always required, but, usually, a combination of medication and other factors like a diet change and reduced stress are the perfect mix. 

After initial allergy testing, there are numerous treatment options for seasonal allergies. 

Treatment/Medication Options:

  • Nasal sprays (such as Flonase)
  • Nasal Saline Flushes (such as the ''Neti Pot'') 
  • Oral antihistamines (drowsy and non-drowsy options are available)
  • Allergy Shots (you're given allergens to increase your immune system to them)
  • Eye Drops (for people whose primary symptom is dry or itchy eyes, eye drops can be effective)

Allergy season can bring on sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, and an abundance of other bothersome side effects. 

Final Thoughts 

  • Nasal sprays (such as Flonase)
  • Nasal Saline Flushes (such as the ''Neti Pot'') 
  • Oral antihistamines (drowsy and non-drowsy options are available)
  • Allergy Shots (you're given allergens to increase your immune system to them)
  • Eye Drops (for people whose primary symptom is dry or itchy eyes, eye drops can be effective)

Treatment/Medication Options:

After initial allergy testing, there are numerous treatment options for seasonal allergies. 

Occasionally this step isn't always required, but, usually, a combination of medication and other factors like a diet change and reduced stress are the perfect mix. 

But, you don't have to suffer. 

You Are Not Alone

An overwhelming 8% of adults in the US suffer from Hay fever (allergic rhinitis). That's over 25 million people and over 11 million doctor's visits every year.

8 %
Of All Adults
25
Million People
11
Million Doctors Visits

Changing your diet, getting adequate sleep, reducing stress, using essential oils, and taking certain precautions will go a long way in decreasing your allergy symptoms. 

When you're not getting the relief you so desperately need, it's time to see a professional for your allergy issues. 

Schedule an appointment with one of our professional and caring ENT - Allergy Specialists

Testing and Treatment at Hampton Roads ENT - Allergy

ENT Doctor Gloucester, VA

Hampton Roads ENT - Allergy has a roster of professional providers and specialists can help you pinpoint your allergy problems.

An ENT Allergy specialist can help you determine what allergy treatment is right for you.

Click Here to set an appointment with one of our providers.

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About The Author
Dr. Geoffrey W. Bacon MD

Dr. Geoffrey Bacon, MD

Dr. Geoffrey Bacon, MD is an otolaryngologist with Hampton Roads ENT - Allergy in Newport News, VA.  

When you meet with me, I will give you my undivided attention and treat you with the kindness and respect you deserve.

This highly personalized approach, coupled with my years of advanced training and experience in ear, nose and throat care, assures you that you're in hands you can trust.