First things first, make sure your home is a sanctuary from your allergies by dusting and vacuuming every single surface in your house (don't forget about your drapes and curtains which can easily collect pollen and other allergy-causing culprits). If you live in an especially humid area, you may want to get a dehumidifier. This will remove mold causing moisture from the air (but be sure to change the filters once a month).
Now that you’ve ensured that your house is allergen-free, it’s important to keep it that way. Keep your windows closed, especially between the hours of 5am and 10am when pollen tends to be at it’s worst and when it’s windy outside. If you shower in the morning, you may want to switch to nighttime showers to remove any pollen from your hair and body before you crawl into bed. With that being said, it’s also a good idea to change your sheets once a week to ensure that the coziest place in your house doesn’t cause you to sniffle and sneeze all night.
Educate yourself on your allergies by visiting the AAAAI's website. This website has daily pollen and mold reports which will allow you to prepare for your day according to the pollen and mold levels. Also if you don't know what's causing your allergies, these reports may help you narrow down the trees, weeds or types of mold that could be the culprits.
When it comes to severe allergies, it’s always best to consult your doctor but if you're just suffering from some annoying sniffles and sneezes, there are many at home remedies hiding in your kitchen cupboard:
- Peppermint tea not only helps clear your sinuses, it also acts as an anti-inflammatory and a mild anti-bacterial. Make the tea extra strong by using both a tea bag and fresh mint.
- A teaspoon of raw, local, unfiltered honey everyday has been known to act as a vaccine by building your immune system's defense against the allergens in your environment. Check out your local farmers market and make sure that the honey is from your city. This ensures that you're ingesting the same pollen that's causing your allergies.
- Stinging nettle tea does not only aid in feeling better from allergy symptoms, it’s also been known to help stop the symptoms before they even start. Stinging nettles contain natural anti-histamines and are power-packed with nutrients which can boost your immune system. It’s important to make the tea EXTRA strong (steep the tea bag until it's dark green) and drink it daily (it will work even better if you start drinking it a month or two before allergy season begins).
- Cucumber slices on your eyes are no longer just for the spa. These cold, cooling veggies are known to reduce the redness and puffiness around your eyes caused by hay fever.
- If you're up for it, wasabi and horseradish is another delicious decongestant. Not only will these spicy root vegetables clear your sinuses they also have anti-inflammatory properties. So go get some lunchtime sushi, add a heap of wasabi, take a deep breath and enjoy nature’s tasty remedy.