Whether they’re seasonally triggered or year-round, dealing with allergies can be bothersome and disruptive to your everyday routine. Allergic rhinitis is experienced when a person breathes in pollutants or allergens that the body considers a threat, even if it isn’t truly harmful, so it rushes to protect your system.
Common irritants can be hard to avoid and include pollen, dust, grass, animal dander, and mold. Allergic reactions and intensities can vary, but the more common allergy symptoms are an irritated nose (sneezing, runny, stuffy, itchy), irritated throat (soreness, coughing), irritated eyes (itchy, watery), and itchy or dry skin.
To help you alleviate your at-home allergies next time they come around, keep scrolling for some simple tips you can try — no over-the-counter or prescription medication necessary.
6 Ways to Battle Allergies at Home
1. Allergen Avoidance
As the popular saying goes, prevention is better than cure. The best way to remedy allergies is to avoid triggers and irritants as much as possible and reduce the chances of experiencing indoor allergies in the first place.
Keep allergens out by keeping your windows closed, vacuuming dust and pollen attractors (like carpet) weekly, and washing bedding frequently. If you have pets, consider restricting them to certain parts of your home, as pet dander and saliva are common allergy triggers. For this reason, you might consider keeping them out of certain rooms, like your bedroom (and definitely your bed).
If your allergies are triggered by mold, take steps to reduce humidity in the home. Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier, especially in areas of the home that are prone to dampness, such as bathrooms and basements. Be sure to give your bathrooms a chance to air out after showering. Opening a window can help.
Avoid collecting indoor plants. Air out laundry, shoes, and other damp items outside of the house to prevent mold growth.
Personal hygiene is also important to reduce allergies. Shower regularly to wash off any allergens that may have clung to your hair and body while outdoors, and avoid tracking them through the house. A hot shower can also help soothe allergies, as the steam can temporarily clear your nasal pathways.
2. Clean and Irrigated Nose
Most allergy symptoms are caused by breathing in allergens or pollutants, so one of the most important preventive measures against allergies is to keep your nose clean.
According to a 2012 review, rinsing out the nose with a saline solution is helpful for both kids and adults who suffer from allergic rhinitis or hay fever. The Neti Pot is a popular choice for flushing out the nasal pathways to get rid of particles like pollen and dust from the nose hairs. Take care to read the instructions, as there’s a very specific way to use these. (For instance, you can’t use tap water.)
If this is uncomfortable for you, a saline spray is a simpler alternative.
3. Natural Remedies
There are various herbs recommended by natural healing practitioners because of their anti-inflammatory properties. For example, butterbur has shown to be equally as effective as antihistamines in helping with itchy eyes and reducing the swelling of airways.
Bromelain, which is found in pineapples and papayas, helps minimize inflammation after sinus surgery and improves breathing.
Dietary spirulina, goldenseal, stinging nettle, and goldenseal all provide relief from allergies as well.
4. Locally Sourced Honey
It’s a widely popular theory that if you’re allergic to the pollen of flowers in your area, you should eat locally produced honey to reduce your allergy to them. The logic is that the honey is made from the same flowers you may be allergic to; so, over time, your system will learn that these are not a threat to your body.
As an added bonus, honey offers a number of other health benefits, too — like a serious dose of antioxidants.
5. Essential Oils
Certain essential oils are recommended to help ease allergies at home. For example, eucalyptus essential oil is recommended by natural healers as it has anti-inflammatory properties that aid in opening the nasal pathways. It also has antibacterial properties, so people will sometimes add it to their laundry load during allergy season to keep clothes clean from pollen and other irritants.
Peppermint essential oil is also known to be anti-inflammatory, so it helps in fighting bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis.
These oils may be applied topically when diluted with a carrier oil or put into an essential oil diffuser. You can also find essential oil jewelry, made with very small diffusers that you can wear right on your body.
6. Air Purifier
As most allergies are caused by airborne pollutants that are inhaled into the body, air purification is one of the best ways to prevent experiencing allergies indoors.
Air purifiers cleanse the air by pulling in allergens such as dust, pollen, and pet dander, depending on the type of filters they contain. The HEPA filter, or high-efficiency particulate air filter, is commonly recommended, as it’s an effective irritant trapper. It’s used in portable air purifiers, as well as vacuums and HVAC systems.
Reliable air purifiers work on multiple filters and features for optimum air purification. Using an air purifier from Sans, for example, can filter the air in your home and noticeably improve your indoor air quality and thus, your allergies.
The technology behind Sans involves four layers of protection:
- HEPA 13 filter
- Activated carbon filter
- UV-C light
Between these four layers, your air purifier will capture particles big and small, removing toxins and allergens from the air inside your home and releasing a version that’s far more clean and pure.
When your allergies start acting up, hold off on reaching for that over-the-counter medicine. Try one of these natural remedies and see if they help alleviate your allergies at home.