10 Home Remedies and Hacks to Keep Your Allergies at Bay

Outside, the sun is shining, the daffodils are blooming, and the neighborhood kids are running through the sprinkler. Meanwhile, you're trapped inside, perched atop a mountain of tissues with swollen, itchy eyes and a bright red nose.

Allergies suck. The good news is there are plenty of powerful ways to combat allergies, and not all of them include taking antihistamines, decongestants, bronchodilators, or other drugs. Next time your nose starts to stiff and your eyes start to water, try one of these 10 ways to reduce allergy symptoms

1. Bubble up a pot of tea.

Slurping up a cup of hot tea in the morning can help reduce sneezing. Tea contains elements that naturally reduce histamines, a chemical your body releases during allergic reactions.

2. Chow down on yogurt. 

Foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut are packed with probiotics, a type of "healthy" gut bacteria. Probiotics can help protect your immune system from flaring up in response to seasonal allergens, which may, in turn, minimize allergy symptoms.

3. Skip the hot sauce.

Sorry, spicy food lovers. Fiery hot sauces, salsas, curries, and peppers not only trigger tears and sniffles--they also can also induce a flood of histamines.

When combined with histamine produced by your allergies, the extra histamine released from spicy foods can cause irritation and inflammation.

4. Cook your veggies.

When you eat certain raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, your body may mistake theses foods for pollen, triggering an allergic reaction sometimes referred to as a "cross-reaction". 

Raw apples, celery, cucumber, and lettuce are common offenders. When your allergies are acting up, avoid raw fruits and stick to cooked veggies as often as possible.

5. Protect indoor air.

When the pollen count surges, leave your windows and doors shut tight to protect the air inside your home. Consider installing an HEPA filter on your AC system and a panel filter on your furnace to keep indoor air clear.

6. Protect your clothing.

Remove clothes you've worn outside and wash them to avoid bringing pollen and other allergens into your home. Wash laundry in water that is 140 degrees or higher to wipe out dust mites and other allergens.

Don't hang your freshly laundered clothing on an outdoor clothesline, however--sheets, towels, and clothing can attract pollen when left to dry outside.

7. Get help with housework.

No dust no glory! (But this still sucks) #cleaning #miele #floor

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Vacuuming, dusting, and sweeping can stir up allergens so they remain in the air for hours. During allergy season, take a break from housekeeping.

If you don't want to hire help, we suggest bribing your family members or friends with beer into lending a hand.

8. Wash your hair at night.

Your hair may attract pollen throughout the day, especially if you use products like gel or mousse. During allergy season, rinse your hair out at night whenever possible.

9. Stay calm.

When you are stressed, your body releases histamines. By increasing the histamine levels in your bloodstream, stress can worsen the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Combat allergy symptoms by taming stress with meditation, daily exercise, and plenty of sleep.

10. Take an antihistamine.

If you can't avoid substances that trigger your allergies and symptoms persist, it may be time to try medication. While there are several different types of allergy treatments--including allergy shots, steroids, and nasal sprays--taking an over-the-counter antihistamine is a good place to start.

By reducing or even blocking histamines entirely, antihistamines can put a temporary stop to allergy symptoms. Today, there are a variety of effective, non-drowsy antihistamine medications on the market. Though some require a prescription, many can be bought over the counter at your local pharmacy--including Zyrtec, Allegra, and Clarinex.

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