5 Effective Home Remedies for Allergies
Find out how to help manage stubborn allergy symptoms with natural remedies and simple lifestyle changes that are both effective and easy.
Allergy symptoms can make it hard to live your life by disrupting work, leisure, and everything in between. Constantly sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose, and itching your eyes is no fun, and sometimes it feels like nothing seems to help.
It may feel like your allergy symptoms just won’t budge no matter what you do, but there are simple steps you can take at home to make your allergy symptoms more manageable.
In this post, we’ll walk you through five common home remedies for allergies.
What Causes Allergies?
An allergic reaction is your immune system’s response to a substance that it perceives as a threat. In other words, when you deal with allergy symptoms, it’s the result of your immune system mistaking something relatively harmless for something dangerous.
When your immune system misidentifies a substance as a threat to your health, your body triggers an inflammatory response, releasing chemicals called histamines. These chemicals play a key role in the development of those uncomfortable symptoms that you experience when you’re having an allergic reaction.
The most common cases of allergies come and go throughout the year in response to airborne particles like mold, pollen, and more. These are known as seasonal allergies, and these are the types of allergies these home remedies can help the most.
In some cases, allergies can be life-threatening when anaphylaxis occurs. Anaphylactic shock refers to a series of severe allergic reactions including tightening of the airways and swelling of the lips, eyes, and throat. Anaphylaxis is most common with allergies to food or medicine, so always make sure to follow the guidelines set by your Healthcare Provider — unfortunately, the remedies we discuss below aren’t applicable to these types of allergies.
Common Seasonal Allergy Triggers
Seasonal allergy sufferers tend to deal with symptoms as a result of the following triggers:
Ragweed: This type of pollen causes allergy symptoms for millions of people, especially during the spring and summer. Ragweed pollen can blow for miles and miles, causing symptoms even for people who live far from where it actually grows.
Dust Mites: Dust mites are microscopic organisms that feed on dead skin cells. Many people with allergies experience symptoms when exposed to the particles left behind by these critters, and they’re one of the primary causes for indoor seasonal allergies, with peak breeding season (i.e. peak allergen season) between May and October.
Mold: Mold grows in dark, wet places and triggers allergy symptoms for many people. Sufferers of Fall allergies may be allergic to mold, as the fungus often grows in piles of wet dead leaves and blows through the brisk autumn air.
How Are Allergies Diagnosed?
If you suspect that you’re experiencing allergies but don’t know what you’re allergic to, allergy testing can help. There are even at-home allergy testing kits available that claim to be as accurate as the ones done in a doctor’s office.
5 Common Home Remedies for Allergies
Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at five of the best natural allergy remedies.
#1: Get an Air Purifier
An air purifier may help you get some relief from your allergy symptoms if you primarily react to indoor allergens. Air purifiers work to remove mold, dust, pet dander, and other allergy triggers from the air in your home, helping you to breathe more easily again.
The best air purifiers for allergies feature HEPA filters, or high-efficiency particulate air filters, which trap airborne particles and stop them from causing your allergy symptoms.
These purifiers range in price and size, with the most expensive models providing purification to larger spaces. If you’re looking to purify the air in your entire home, you may need multiple air purifiers or a heavy-duty unit that covers several hundred square feet.
#2: Stay Hydrated
Dehydration is never helpful when you’re suffering from allergy symptoms. When you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to experience discomfort when exposed to your allergy triggers. This is partially because your body produces higher histamine levels when you aren’t properly hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water is the best way to fight off dehydration (six to eight 8-ounce glasses per day on average for adults), or you can always opt for a rehydrating IV therapy session to help give your body the fluids it needs.
#3: Close the Windows
Indoor allergies are often at their worst when a breeze blows through the house, carrying allergens in with it. When you’re suffering from severe allergy symptoms, closing the windows is one quick and practical way to get some relief. That way, the breeze won’t blow all of those allergens in to irritate your nasal passages.
#4: Clean Frequently
Allergens can build up in your home quickly, making hay fever symptoms worse. Cleaning thoroughly and often is one of the best ways to get relief from seasonal allergies, especially if you’re struggling with indoor symptoms of nasal congestion and a runny nose.
Dusting, vacuuming, and turning on your air purifier can all provide much-needed relief from symptoms, as can taking a shower or even just changing clothes after spending time outdoors.
It’s especially important to clean your home often if you have seasonal allergies and own a pet. Pets often drag in allergens from outdoors, scattering allergens around the house. Bathing your pet frequently is another way to prevent allergy symptoms from getting out of control.
#5: Up Your Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C has a glowing reputation for supporting the immune system and can be beneficial for allergy sufferers. You can get vitamin C from numerous foods, including citrus fruits, cruciferous veggies, berries, and more, and is also available in supplement form.
This powerful antioxidant supports healthy skin, the absorption of iron, and the production of collagen within your skin, bones, and hair.
Studies show that supplementing with high doses of vitamin C – and taking care to get enough of the nutrient from healthy foods, too – can make a noticeable difference in allergy symptoms. If you’re looking for a simple way to get relief from your allergies, try adding more vitamin C to your daily wellness regimen, especially around peak allergy time.
What If Home Remedies Aren’t Working?
In some cases, allergy symptoms are just too stubborn to respond to at-home solutions. If you’re not having any luck with home remedies, you may need to talk to your doctor about a more heavy-duty treatment for your symptoms.
There are several treatment methods for seasonal allergies that your doctor might recommend, including:
This allergy treatment exposes your immune system to small amounts of the allergens that trigger allergic rhinitis or hay fever symptoms (think sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and itching), increasing the amount of exposure little by little.
This might sound counterintuitive – after all, those allergens are what’s causing the symptoms, right? That’s true, but the symptoms are the result of an oversensitive immune system.
Immunotherapy works by slowly desensitizing your immune system to your allergy triggers, leaving you with less reactivity over time.
There are two types of immunotherapy: subcutaneous (under the skin) and sublingual (under the tongue).
Subcutaneous allergy immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, is often recommended by healthcare providers because it’s a highly effective treatment method.
The main drawback for most people to this treatment for allergies is the use of needles, which may dissuade them from turning to it as a regular treatment option. Many allergy sufferers prefer sublingual treatment for allergies, as there are no needles involved and the medication is taken orally.
Subcutaneous and sublingual allergy immunotherapy both have similar track records in terms of effectiveness. In other words, you can typically expect results regardless of which immunotherapy method you choose. If you’re not sure which one is best for you, consulting your Provider is an excellent place to start.
In addition to immunotherapy, your doctor might also recommend trying prescription strength antihistamines if your symptoms aren’t going away.
These medications work to block the effects of the histamine that’s released by your immune system when you’re exposed to allergy triggers. They’re generally more powerful than over-the-counter antihistamines, and they’re only available with a doctor’s prescription.
Some individuals with allergies find that a combination of antihistamines and home remedies are just what they need to conquer their allergy symptoms. For others, immunotherapy is the only solution that seems to work. Sometimes, a bit of trial and error is necessary to determine which treatment method works for you. It’s all part of the process of getting relief from your allergies.
Allergies can be relentless, but they are usually manageable with the right combination of treatment methods. Sometimes, home remedies are all you need for relief. In other cases, you may need to turn to more impactful treatments to manage symptoms.
It’s all about finding what works for you — plus, you always have the help of your Healthcare Provider to get to the bottom of it. Always discuss symptoms with your Provider before incorporating supplements and medications into your health regimen.