For millions of people, sneezing, wheezing, runny noses and itchy eyes, result from opening a window, working in the yard or petting the cat. With some simple lifestyle changes and trying natural remedies, you may find some relief.
5 Lifestyle changes that help allergy sufferers
Where allergies are concerned, prevention is still the best treatment. There’s lots you can do to help keep your symptoms at bay.
- Stay indoors during peak pollen periods, typically between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Hot, dry and windy weather spurs high counts. Levels tend to be lowest on rainy, cloudy or windless days.
- Avoid raking grass or leaves, which can stir up molds and pollens.
- Shower and change clothes after being outdoors. Pollen collects on skin, hair and garments. And don’t turn your clothing into a magnet for clothing by hanging it outdoors to dry. Opt to air- or machine-dry inside.
- Get a HEPA vacuum. Studies show that vacuums equipped with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters remove allergens more effectively than standard appliances. Carpets trap allergens, so vacuum often. Better yet, have hardwood or tile floors. Good-quality air cleaners could also be a big help.
- Forego house plants. They can trap mold and other allergens, so decorate with discretion or find alternatives.
- Avoid feather pillows and down bedding. Anti-allergen pillowcases and mattress covers may be the best options for you.
- Instead of standard drugs, you might try supplements with quercetin, a plant pigment found in apples (500 milligrams two or three times a day). It can block allergic reactions to pollen and reduce inflammation in the airways.
- Naturally oriented physicians also recommend stinging nettle, a native weed long used in folk medicine (250 milligrams three times a day). Look for capsules that contain the freeze-dried herb, or an extract standardized to contain one percent plant silica.