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Spring Isn’t the Only Thing in the Air–Watch Out for Pollen!

Close-up of smiling mature woman holding flowers at park

Spring isn’t the only thing in the air this time of year—for some 35 million Americans, the pollen from trees, flowers, grasses and other plants promises misery in the form of seasonal allergies. How do you know if you have allergies? Itchy, watery eyes, sneezing, and a runny nose are the most common symptoms of seasonal allergies. Pollen can also trigger asthma symptoms and attacks in asthma sufferers. While over the counter and prescription medications can bring relief from allergy symptoms, they often come with undesirable side effects. Natural remedies and simple lifestyle changes can be a great option for those with mild symptoms or can be used in combination with more traditional medications.

Numerous studies have shown that the herb butterbur can be as effective as antihistamines in battling seasonal allergies. Butterbur may not be for everyone, so anyone interested in trying this natural allergy remedy should consult with their doctor first. Other natural remedies to try are steam showers, saline nasal sprays and peppermint tea. Naturopathic doctors also recommend certain nutrients, such as grape seed extract and quercetin, especially taken in conjunction with vitamin C, as a way to get relief form symptoms.

Focusing on keeping pollen out of your home should be a priority for anyone suffering from allergies. Visit the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology to check pollen counts before heading outside (they are highest during mid afternoon). Changing your clothes and showering after spending time outdoors can help as well. Frequent vacuuming (use one with a HEPA filter), wiping off your pet’s fur before letting them back into the house after they spend time outdoors, and taking off your shoes can help keep pollen out of the home. As tempting as it may be to let in the “fresh spring air,” keeping windows and doors closed when pollen counts are high is a good idea.

Finding relief from seasonal allergies can be the difference between enjoying the warmer weather and dreading the changing seasons, so try one of these remedies today!

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