9 Tips to Fight Spring Allergies

Doctor William C Lloyd Healthgrades Medical Reviewer
Medically Reviewed By William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Written By Linda Wasmer Andrews on September 14, 2022
  • sneeze, col, allergies, allergy, nose
    When Spring Means Sneezes
    Ah, springtime! The earth is reawakening—and so are your allergies to pollen and outdoor mold. Spring allergies can cause sneezing, a stuffy or runny nose, watery eyes, and itching of the nose, eyes, ears or throat. But don't despair. These tips can help you get through the sneezin' season more comfortably.
  • Woman using nasal spray for allergies
    1. Take Medicine Sooner, Not Later
    The most common allergy medicines are antihistamines. In some cases, your doctor may also recommend or prescribe a nasal spray containing a steroid. If your allergies arrive every spring like clockwork, starting your medicine a few weeks before symptoms usually appear helps make them less severe.
  • Poor Driving Record
    2. Keep Outdoor Allergens Outside
    In early spring, the air outside is filled with tree pollens and mold spores. By late spring, grass pollens kick in, and mold spores increase. Keep these allergens outside by closing the windows in your home and car. If possible, run the air conditioner, which helps clean the air.
  • allergy, wind, spring, wish
    3. Check Pollen and Mold Counts
    Limit the amount of time you spend outside when pollen and outdoor mold levels are high. Pollen and mold counts can be found on many allergy websites, such as pollen.aaaai.org, and in local weather reports. In general, counts tend to be highest on warm, dry, windy days.
  • Cleaning supplies
    4. Make Time for Cleaning
    Keeping your home clean and well-maintained helps reduce your indoor exposure to pollen and mold. To remove some of the pollen that hitchhikes inside on people and pets, vacuum often with a HEPA-equipped filter, and launder clothes promptly. To prevent the growth of mold, fix any leaks and seal damp areas.
  • father putting ointment on young son's nose or face
    5. Rinse Out Your Nose, Carefully
    Flushing out your nasal passages with saline solution (salt water) may relieve a stuffy nose caused by spring allergies. Don't use water straight out of the tap, however. Instead, the FDA recommends using distilled or sterile water, filtered water (filter pore size of 1 micron or less), or boiled tap water.
  • capsule-pills
    6. Consider Butterbur Supplements
    Studies show that an herb called butterbur may reduce spring allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes and runny nose. But note: The unprocessed butterbur plant contains harmful chemicals called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). If you use butterbur, buy a PA-free product and discuss it with your doctor.
  • Cherries
    7. Watch Out for Food Allergies
    Some people who are allergic to pollen also react to fruits and vegetables that contain similar proteins. For example, if you're allergic to birch tree pollen, your lips may tingle and swell or your mouth may itch when you eat celery, cherries or apples. Tell your doctor about any food-related symptoms.
  • Nurse giving patient shot
    8. Look Ahead with Allergy Shots
    For long-lasting relief of pollen allergies, talk with your doctor about allergy shots. This treatment involves getting a series of shots in a doctor's office over a period of at least three years. The benefits often last even after the shots are stopped.
  • Happy woman
    9. Ask About Under-Tongue Drops
    Allergy drops placed under the tongue—a.k.a. sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)—work much like allergy shots but can be taken at home. Although the drops are not yet FDA-approved, several studies show that they work, and some doctors prescribe them. Insurance may not cover this treatment, however.
9 Tips to Fight Spring Allergies
  1. Allergy Shots and Allergy Drops for Adults and Children. Agency for Healthcare Research and Qualityhttp://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/ehc/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?pageAction=...
  2. Butterbur. National Institutes of Health. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/butterbur
  3. Rhinitis (Hay Fever). American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/rhinitis
  4. Hay Fever and Allergy Medications. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/hay-fever-medications
  5. Immunotherapy Can Provide Lasting Relief. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/immunotherapy-can-provide-lasting-relief
  6. SLIT Treatment (Allergy Tablets) for Allergic Rhinitis: Nothing to Sneeze About. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/allergy-library/sublingual-immunotherapy-for-allergic-rhinitis
  7. Indoor Allergens. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/indoor-allergens
  8. Outdoor Allergens. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/outdoor-allergens
  9. Are You Making Your Spring Allergies Worse? American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. http://acaai.org/news/are-you-making-your-spring-allergies-worse
  10. Is Rinsing Your Sinuses Safe? U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm316375.htm\
  11. Enjoy the Season: Manage Your Allergies. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/anonymous.portal?_nfpb=true&_nfto=false&_pageLabel=spotli...
  12. Pollen Allergy. National Institutes of Health. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/allergicdiseases/documents/pollenallergyfactsheet.pdf

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Last Review Date: 2022 Sep 14
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