If you can’t stop sneezing and your eye feels itchy, you’re not alone. An estimated 30% of American adults and 40% of children are affected by allergies each year. For many allergy sufferers, this means a trip to the doctor’s office or the pharmacy to fill a prescription. But what if you could help relieve your annoying symptoms more naturally? Here are some tips to ease your family’s allergy symptoms the natural way.
Make Changes to Your Diet
If you or your kids suffer from allergies, their diet could be making them worse. While most food allergies are caused by a handful of common foods, like milk, eggs, nuts, soy, wheat, and fish, many people with allergies don’t realize that eating a healthy diet can help them manage their symptoms as well. One study found that nuts, grapes, oranges, apples, and fresh tomatoes may offer relief from allergies. Sipping more water may also help relieve stuffiness and postnasal drip caused by allergens. The extra liquid will thin the mucus in your nasal passages, and hot drinks like tea offer the added benefit of steam.
Butterbur is a marsh plant and is a promising natural remedy for allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever. Some studies suggest that the butterbur extract may be an effective treatment for nasal allergies and a potent antihistamine, but it isn’t very helpful for treating allergic skin reactions.
Wear a Mask
If working in the yard or completing tasks like vacuuming intensifies your allergies, try wearing an N95 respirator mask. Easily found at most drugstores or online, this mask will keep 95% of pesky allergens such as dust, mold, and pollen from getting into your airways. Some masks may also block viruses for a one-two punch to those runny noses.
Filter Your Indoor Air
Every time you’re outdoors, your clothes, hair, and skin get covered with tiny particles that are likely intensifying your allergy problems. It’s a beautiful sunny day outside, but when the pollen count is high or the outdoor air quality is poor, it’s best to keep your windows and doors closed to shut out breezes and protect your indoor air.
To keep the allergens at bay in your home, install a HEPA filter in your air conditioning system and a flat panel filter in your furnace and change them at least once a month. Covering air conditioning vents with cheesecloth can also help trap pollen. Have your air ducts cleaned by a professional HVAC maintenance technician once a year.
The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture offers some allergy relief for many people. Tiny needles are inserted just under the skin at specific points in the body to reduce symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and puffy eyes.
The easiest way to avoid an allergy attack is to get rid of things in your home that make you sneeze. Make an appointment with your allergist for an allergy skin test to pinpoint your triggers if you’re not sure what they are. Remember to always talk to your doctor before starting an alternative allergy treatment.
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