What Hay Fever Is
’Tis the season for hay fever and if you find yourself:
- sneezing constantly
- with a runny and stuffy nose
- itching your eyes or skin
it is likely you (like 50 million other Americans) suffer from allergic rhinitis (more commonly know as hay fever).
Why Hay Fever is a Problem
Hay fever is more than just annoying. It is linked to decreased concentration and focus, decreased decision-making capacity, impaired coordination, irritability, sleep disturbances, and even vehicle accidents.
No thank you!
Personally, I have suffered from allergic rhinitis since childhood. And since then, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to prevent and treat my dreaded allergy symptoms.
And because I don’t want ANYONE to suffer unnecessarily, I am sharing my top tips to prevent hay fever.
How to Prevent Hay Fever Symptoms
In many cases, pollen is the cause of allergic rhinitis. If pollen is your problem, there are several effective ways to prevent allergies. Basically, you need to reduce your exposure to pollen. This is tricky when you are outside and away from your home. But when you are home, there is a lot you can do.
Even though you may not be able to see it, through the day, your hair, clothes, and exposed skin collect pollen. Without proper precautions you can then track pollen throughout your home. This turns your previously healthy and happy home into an allergy hotbed.
How do you reduce your home pollen levels?
1. Make Your Home a Shoe-Free Zone.
Leave your shoes at the door to prevent tracking pollen (and other potential allergens) throughout your house. If going barefoot seems strange to you, invest in some comfy house slippers (I have a great pair from Toms [https://www.amazon.com/Womens-Slipper-Loafers-Slip-Ons-Stripe/dp/B011631PTE]) or fuzzy socks.
2. Change Your Clothes When you Get Home.
As soon as you get home, switch into clean and pollen-free clothes. This is a win-win — you keep your pollen exposure down AND prevent tracking pollen throughout your house.
3. Switch to Bedtime Showers.
This may be difficult if you adore your morning showers. However, if you wash away pollen and allergens before bed, you are doing yourself a BIG favor. Consider you (ideally) spend 8 hours asleep in bed; making sure your sleep time is low-pollen will help keep your allergy symptoms at bay during the night.
4. Keep Your House Clean
This may seem like no-brainer, but keeping your house clean can truly help allergies. The fewer allergens you are exposed to, the better your symptoms will be.
One way to keep your house clean is by keeping the windows closed. This is especially important when it is windy outside.
5. Sleep in a Room Without Rugs or Carpet
While cozy and warm, rugs and carpets are hot beds for pollen and other allergens. Keeping your sleep environment as clean as possible will help reduce your exposure to allergens.
6. Wash Your Hands and Face Regularly
Keeping your hands and face clear of allergens will help prevent dreaded hay fever symptoms. Even better, use fragrance-free products to prevent unnecessary exposure to other potential allergens.
7. Dry Your Clothes Inside
Drying your clothes outside on a clothes line can be refreshing, but it is best to avoid this during your allergy season. The reason? Your clothes will inevitably get pollen deposits on them.
Ways to Treat Seasonal Allergies
If you’ve already tried these natural approaches to allergy prevention and your symptoms persist, there are options.
Butterbur (petasites hybridus), nasal irrigation, and probiotics are proven ways to alleviate allergy symptoms. More details (and studies to support their use) can be found here.
Spread the Love
If you suffer from hay fever, try one of my natural prevention strategies. Your nose will thank you! And if you have a loved one with allergic rhinitis, forward this post along.