allergy

Though you want to enjoy life, seasonal allergy may dampen your spirit. Instead of reaching out for pharmaceutical drugs, why not take some precautions and try natural therapies?

Below are 10 useful methods for reducing the symptoms of allergies as well as preventing them from happening in the first place.

1. Protect yourself by wearing a mask

The best way to stop allergies is to wear medical masks when you are working in the garden. This would prevent pollens from entering your nose.

If you must finish that gardening before the in-laws show up, don a not-so-chic but très useful N95 filter mask, which keeps pollen out of your nose and mouth.

2. Take a bathe in the night

Sometimes allergic elements get entangled in our hair. Here the best thing to do is take a bathe in the night so that you would not sneeze or suffer from some allergic reaction next morning.

3. Stop the sneezing

It’s like a scene from a low-budget horror flick: the trees are blooming, the grass is growing… and runny-nosed zombies are invading the planet! Seasonal allergies are here, but if you’re one of the sniffly multitudes, you may have noticed that the “allergy season” can span most of the year (and that symptoms may flare right before your period).

Here’s your best defense—from least to most invasive, medically speaking. Try the first few and you may not need to hit the pharmacy at all.

4. Check the room temperatures

If you have room temperatures over 70 degrees, then you could have the presence of dust mites which cause allergies. Here you can reduce your room temperatures a bit.

5. Keep your nose clean

“Your nose is like a car windshield—pollen sticks to it,” says Neil Kao, MD, an allergist at the Allergic Disease and Asthma Center, in Greenville, S.C.

Try a saline sinus rinse, found at any drugstore.

If that doesn’t do it, buy the nonprescription herbal nasal spray NasalCrom (cromolyn sodium), which helps prevent allergic reactions in your nose.

6. Dust mites

Dust mites thrive in homes that are warmer than 70 degrees and have a humidity above 50 percent. Here’s how to beat them.

Cool (and dry) it Keeping your home temp in the mid to low 60s and the humidity between 40% and 45% should send them packing. Buy a home hygrometer to measure humidity levels.

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7. Use barriers

If you sneeze when sleeping on your pillow place a thin, soft cloth over it and this would act as a barrier.

8. Keep your bedding clean

Not literally, but you should wash your sheets and pillowcases weekly in water that’s at least 140 degrees; a study in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that this temperature wiped out all dust mites.

9. Get your pets groomed

Your pet that is. Ask your nonallergic partner or child to comb him every day, preferably outside, with a comb dipped in distilled water, which traps dander.

And a weekly bath (more often will dry his skin, making the dander problem worse) is a must.

10. Try the Nasal Sprays

If nasal washes and antihistamines don’t work for you, up the ante with a prescription steroid spray like Flonase, but you can skip decongestants; Dr. Kao says they don’t work for allergies and may worsen your congestion after several days of use.

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