Are you already sniffing your way through spring? Nasal allergies, felt by 50 million of us in the U.S., are triggered by various things. Pollens in this warming April air are a big culprit!

There’s no cure for allergies, but medications can lessen and treat symptoms like stuffy/runny nose, watering eyes, mucus in the throat, and wheezing. Sometimes, these drugs don’t work well for people or cause side effects. Does your “Sneezy” bring along “Sleepy” and “Grumpy” to the party? If so, it might be time to rethink your allergy plan and consider what else you can do to find relief.

Changes in lifestyle and diet can help you through tough seasons. Natural remedies work alongside regular treatments so the fun of a new season isn’t ruined by annoying symptoms.

Lifestyle change-ups

Who doesn’t love the breeze of fresh air through a bedroom window as you drift off to sleep? But when spring blows in and pollen counts rise, close those windows and opt for AC instead. Use a HEPA air filter, and get a vacuum with one too since it traps tiny particles. Keep a clean home.

While you’re gardening or mowing the lawn, wear a filter mask, hat, and glasses to keep particles at bay. Change your clothes and shower right when you come inside. Showering pollen off hair and skin at night can also mean easier bedtime breathing. (Zzzzzzzz…)

How about another change? If you’re a runner who likes to pound the pavement first thing, consider going later if pollen counts are lower. Avoid outdoor activities when it’s warm and windy.

Decisions about diet

The right food choices impact not only our waistlines, but how we can fight allergies and feel our best. Just say no to that fast food drive-through! Teladoc Health Services Vice President Dr. Jason Tibbels instead says to opt for unprocessed foods full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Drink water during your day to help with stuffiness.

Focus on anti-inflammatory foods and herbs like garlic, ginger, cinnamon and turmeric. Apples, kale, blueberries, red wine, and green tea are rich in quercetin, an antioxidant that may lessen allergy symptoms. Daily fish oil pills and Butterbur supplements can also help control symptoms.

Probiotics, or healthy bacteria found in yogurt, can lead to fewer sniffles. Opinions are mixed about the power of raw honey, but some experts say it can ward off infections and viruses and even boost immunity. And as grandma always said, honey can soothe a throat that’s sore from coughing.

Trying other treatments

Saline salt water sprays used once or twice a day can soothe dry nostrils and clear out pesky particles. To totally flush out sinuses and combat symptoms, doctors suggest saline irrigation, or Neti pot, using sterile water.

Essential oils can also help reduce inflammation. Diffuse peppermint, frankincense, or eucalyptus oil in the air, or dilute them, applying on the skin for some soothing. Allergy sufferers also seek acupuncture or spinal adjustments for symptom relief.

To lessen the impact allergies have on our daily lives, Dr. Jason Tibbels suggests taking whatever steps we can to make healthy choices: exercise, eat nutritious foods, sleep well, and manage stress for relaxation. While healthy moves alone won’t “cure” allergies, along with advice from a physician they can help us down the path to relief.

If you’re having allergy symptoms, reach out to one of our U.S.-certified doctors for help. They see and treat allergies—of all kinds, in people of all ages—giving advice on treatments or medications when needed. You can contact Teladoc 24/7 online, by phone, or through our mobile app. Stop sneezing and start springing today!

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