By Patricia Mar 08, 2021
Spring is nearly upon us, but for many, that means that allergy season is starting. Unfortunately for this group, when the weather changes and the seasons shift, that means nasal congestion, runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes. If you fall in this group, you’re probably wondering how to get through allergy season without feeling sick for weeks upon end. While there are, of course, allergy medications you can take, they have side effects, including making you sleepy, which is no good for productivity. You can also visit a sinus specialist such as our very own ENT doctors at Detroit Sinus Center. But, before you make that step, there are a few at-home remedies you can try. Here are our top five natural remedies for clearing up seasonal allergy symptoms.
1. Cleanse Your Nasal Passage
One of the most common causes for an allergy flare-up is from pollens sticking to your mucus membranes. Your mucus membranes, or the glands lining the inside of your nose that produce mucus, will work overtime to produce mucus if there’s any pollen present. Therefore, ensuring that your nose is nice and clean is important for reducing allergy symptoms.
There are a few ways to clear out your nasal passage, ridding your mucus membranes of pollen, but the most commonly used is a neti pot. This nasal irrigation treatment looks like a little teapot, which you add a saline solution to, and pour through one of your nostrils. Keep your head tilted so that the solution runs through the other nostril. It definitely feels weird, but once you have rinsed your nasal passages thoroughly with a neti pot, you will feel much less congested. Keep in mind that you may need to repeat this method once or more times a day in order to keep the pollen out of your nose and prevent allergy symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes.
While they work wonders when used correctly, improper use of a neti pot could increase symptoms and potentially cause an infection. Here is a guide to using a neti pot, written by the FDA.
2. Smell Essential Oils
Essentials oils can be a great way to open up your nasal passages during allergy season. Any of your favorite essential oils will do, but menthol-based ones will work the best at clearing up your sinuses. Pick up some bottles of pure peppermint, spearmint, and eucalyptus oils and smell them throughout the day. You can simply twist the cap off and smell the oil or you can get an essential oil diffuser so the smell fills the room, rub a few drops on your wrist, add some drops to your bath, even add some to your tea — it’s up to you! Either way, you’ll be breathing easy and your sinuses will be cleared up in no time.
3. Clean Your Home
This is a must-do for everyone who lives with allergies — clean, clean, clean your home. Seasonal allergies are linked to changes in nature, so there’s a very good chance that you are tracking allergy-inducing pollens from the outside into your home. So, even if you think you’re escaping the outdoors, they have likely come inside to wreak havoc on your sinuses and cling to your mucus membranes. No matter what specific plant you are allergic to, it has likely become part of the dust in your home, perhaps trapped in your carpet or fabrics, tracked indoors from your shoes, clothes, pets, and open windows. In order to get through allergy season without going through ten boxes of tissues, be sure to clean your home more frequently than usual. Dust everything, vacuum everything, wash everything — you’ll thank yourself later.
4. Try Herbal Remedies
There are a few herbal remedies that have been known to clear up clogged sinuses and alleviate allergy symptoms, but we’ll discuss just two herbs — quercetin and butterbur. Quercetin is found in many plants and foods and is an antioxidant flavonoid. Including this herb in your diet may help relieve common allergy symptoms as it works to block the release of histamines. Butterbur works similarly and also acts as an antihistamine. This herb has been known to help alleviate headaches, seasonal allergy symptoms, and more.
5. Give Acupuncture a Try
Acupuncture is part of traditional Chinese medicine and has been said to help with health issues such as allergies and chronic pain. While some may not believe in this form of medicine, it is actually heavily backed by science. Visit an acupuncture professional and discuss what allergy symptoms you are having. Acupuncture can be used to naturally alleviate allergy symptoms such as runny nose, itchy eyes, congested sinuses, and more.
If all else fails, schedule an appointment with your local sinus specialist or ENT doctor. Detroit Sinus Center offers a variety of sinus treatments ranging from prescription medications to non-invasive surgeries. We’ll help you through allergy season so you can breathe easy once again. Contact us today to schedule your appointment with our sinus specialists in Detroit!