For many Americans, spring heralds more than just the return of the birds and the blooming of the flowers; it can also signal the return of allergies. Depending on how severe your pollen-induced allergies are, they might form a minor nuisance or a major issue. From neti pots and essential oils to over-the-counter treatments, here are five ways to help you nip seasonal allergies in the bud.
Invest in Essential Oils
Essential oils have a wide range of health benefits, so you might want to stock up on a few as allergy season approaches. Essential oil can’t cure your allergies, but they can make breathing feel easier and your sinuses feel more comfortable.
Lavender and peppermint are both said to reduce inflammation, while eucalyptus can help with congestion. You can try putting oils in a diffuser or rubbing a drop or two on your chest. Even when you’re not sick, using essential oils is a great way to practice self-care.
Remember That Water Is Your Friend
Staying hydrated is always important, but doubly so if you have a runny nose or sore throat. According to Dr. Erich Voigt, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at NYU Langone Medical Center, the best way to clear out mucus is to drink plenty of water. take hot steam showers or inhale steam.
Get Rid of Unwanted Pollutants
While you can’t control the allergens you encounter outside, you can reduce pollutants in your home by getting a jumpstart on your spring cleaning. You can also invest in an air purifier to reduce pollen indoors, a humidifier to soothe irritated sinuses, and a robotic vacuum cleaner to keep dirt and dust at bay.
Try a Neti Pot
While it definitely doesn’t look pretty in practice, a neti pot can be one of the best ways to rinse mucus and debris from your nasal cavity. Simply make a saltwater solution (using distilled or sterilized water) and pour it into one nostril. The saline solution will flow through your nasal cavity and come out the other nostril, clearing out any unwanted mucus.
Purchase Over-the-Counter Solutions
If natural remedies won’t cut it, you might need to head to the drugstore for some over-the-counter reinforcements. Depending on your symptoms, you might want to opt for oral antihistamines, decongestants, nasal spray, or a combination medications. If you’re feeling too under the weather to head to the store, order Sudafed and other solutions on Amazon. If the over-the-counter solutions still don’t provide relief, schedule a doctor’s appointment.
By following these steps, you can reduce unwanted pollutants and enjoy the best of spring without being waylaid by pesky allergies!
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Rebekah Bell is a writer who lives in Los Angeles.