Here are 6 things you can do to help relieve allergy symptoms without antihistamines:
Shower And Change Your Clothes
Besides the relaxation it can provide, showers are a useful tool for managing and preventing allergy symptoms.
Taking a shower removes pollen or air born allergens that may be clinging to your skin and hair. By taking a shower and changing your clothes after you have been outside, you can wash away those allergens and prevent them from getting onto furniture or other surfaces and pestering you in the home.
Especially make sure to shower before going to bed. This reduces the risk of transferring allergens to your pillow while you sleep.
Eucalyptus Oil And Steam
If taking a shower isn’t possible or would be too much of an inconvenience, you can try heating up some water, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil, and inhale the steam. The steam will help relax and clear out the sinuses, and the eucalyptus oil will help with opening them up, which will make breathing at least a little easier.
If you don’t like eucalyptus, you can also try peppermint tea or green tea.
Peppermint contains menthol which can help clear the sinuses and green tea contains a compound that has been shown in lab tests to inhibit allergic reactions. Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15034065
Conditioning The Air
While this doesn’t help when you’re outside, you can do a lot to remove allergens from the air inside your home.
Good air purifiers using HEPA filters can remove pollen, animal dander and dust from the air. A whole house system is the most effective, but you can also get less expensive portable air purifiers for common areas of the house.
Air conditioners and dehumidifiers also help by removing moisture from the air and floor, which will inhibit the growth of mold and mildew that often worsens allergies.
Cleaning Out The Sinuses
Neti pots and saline sprays can be used to flush out allergens directly. Neti pots can be awkward at first, but they are very effective and rinsing out the nasal cavity.
Our vehicles can suck up and retain a lot of environmental allergens. Some quick tips to reduce your exposure to allergens in your car are:
- Get the inside detailed and vacuumed. This removes allergens trapped in the seat cushions. (Note: this may kick up allergens into the air that don’t get vacuumed out so don’t jump in the car right after it has been vacuumed. Leave the car on with the A/C on recirculate mode for a little bit first.)
- Change or upgrade the cabin air filter.
- During allergy season consider keeping the A/C on recirculate mode, especially during the morning and mid-day, as this is when pollen and plant based allergens are at their peak. Recirculate mode takes in less air from outside, so less allergens are getting pumped into the vehicle.
- Point the A/C vents down and away from you. There is no way to prevent all allergens and irritants from getting into the car, so you can at least make sure they aren’t getting blown directly into your face.
Protect Your Eyes
Allergens don’t just get in through your nose; they also get into your eyes. Wearing sunglasses and a brimmed hat can reduce your exposure to allergens that might affect the eyes.