Seasonal Allergies Prevention: 12+ Practical and Realistic Techniques to Help

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Don’t let seasonal allergies get you down! Here are over 12 practical and realistic things you can do starting today to help you feel better.

A field of flowers on a bright and sunny day. There is a white hexagon in the middle with the text that reads, "springtime allergies".
A field of flowers with the text overlay for springtime allergies.

As someone with allergies and asthma, springtime has always been a wonderful and challenging time of the year. I love getting out in the warm spring weather, planting my vegetable garden, or even taking the dog for a walk. However, my seasonal allergies can sometimes make this a more sneezy time of year. 

Over the decades I’ve been living with allergies, I’ve come up with some practical, realistic, and scientifically backed tips and techniques for how to prevent, manage, and deal with springtime and seasonal allergies. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Use allergy shots (if possible) and allergy medications before seasonal allergies start to get the most protection. 
  2. Keep the air in your home clean with air filters, changing furnace filters, and a regular cleaning schedule. 
  3. Keep your body clean with a nightly shower to reduce any pollen in your hair and on your skin. 
  4. Try natural remedies like increased fruit and vegetable consumption, local honey, or nutritional yeast to naturally relieve allergy symptoms. 
A caucasian person receiving an allergy shot in the arm.
Someone receiving an allergy shot.

Allergy Shots 

First things first: If you have an allergist, talk with them about allergy shots to help combat the seasonal allergies. These are shots done over the course of years (typically 3 to 5 years) that help your body realize over time that the allergens are not a threat.

Allergy shots are super helpful for those with seasonal allergies, indoor allergies (like dust, mold, and dander), and some insect allergies (like bees). 

There are some people who can’t take allergy shots. Those who have very overactive immune systems, have severe asthma, are being treated for heart conditions, or are on beta blocking medications may not be able to take allergy shots. As always, talk with your doctor. 

Now, if you have seasonal allergies but don’t have an allergist, or maybe your allergies aren’t severe enough to warrant taking allergy shots, there are still lots of things you can do to help with springtime allergy symptoms. 

A graphic showing 3 gauges of possible pollen counts.
A graphic showing 3 different pollen count examples. Your local pollen count may look different.

Watch Pollen Count 

One of the most important things you can do is keep track of your local pollen count. A pollen count is a number and rating system that tells you about how much pollen is in the air on any given day. More pollen can mean more allergic reactions 

Most weather apps now have a pollen count included in them. On days when the pollen count is high, try to stay indoors. Keep the windows and doors closed as much as possible. 

By limiting the amount of pollen you are exposed to, it can help you have less allergic reactions. 

Start Medication Early 

The best time to start taking medicine for springtime allergies is in the winter. Really! As strange as it sounds, you want to start taking your allergy medicine before the allergies get bad in your area. 

Depending on where you live, pollenation starts at different times of the year. This is why it’s important to keep track of your allergies with things like an allergy tracker, so you know when you start to have symptoms. Keeping an eye on the pollen count is also helpful. 

Over the counter medications are super helpful and most often are the go-to option for most people. Things like loradatine, cetirizine, and fexofenadine are all long-acting antihistamines that can help with allergy symptoms like itchy eyes, nasal congestion, and runny noses. 

Nasal sprays like glucocorticoid are great at reducing the inflammation as well. 

For a medication free option, try a nasal spray like Xlear. It is filled with xylitol which can help prevent allergies. However, if you are allergic to birch trees or have oral allergy syndrome, don’t use any products with xylitol. 

Finally, make sure that you chat with your doctor to make sure that you won’t have any medication interactions. 

Two air filters next to each other, the one on the left is old and covered in dust and dirt, the one on the right is new and clean.
Showing the difference between an old and a new air filter for the house.

Air Filtration 

One of the best things you can do to help with seasonal allergies is to invest in a good air filter. Some of the best ones are HEPA filters, standing for High Efficiency Particle Air filter. They are super effective at removing things like smoke, pollen, dust, dirt, mildew, pet dander, dust mites, and even some viruses and bacteria from the air.

Place them in areas of the house when you spend the majority of your time. The kitchen, living room, and bedroom are some of the most important rooms to focus on. 

If you are looking to purchase a new air filter, make sure that you get one that does NOT have a UV or ION light filter. Research shows that they produce ozone, which is a harmful air pollution and can trigger asthma attacks.

Another quick tip is to change out the air filters on your heating/cooling system. They often get clogged with dust and pollen so it’s always good to change them on a schedule! 

Remove Food Allergies 

If you have bad seasonal allergies, and you have a few food allergies, I can not overemphasize how important it is to remove those food allergies from your diet. Even if you are only a “little allergic” to the foods, you need to stop eating foods that you are allergic to. 

Want to find some delicious and safe allergy friendly foods? You’re in the right space!

Reduce High Histamine Foods 

If you have severe seasonal allergies, another thing you might want to consider is to remove some high histamine foods from your diet in the times of the year when your allergies are the most severe. 

List of common high histamine foods to reduce or remove:

  • Alcohol
  • Fermented foods
  • Hard cheeses
  • Eggplant 
  • Avocados
  • Strawberries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Dried fruits
  • Processed meats 

Wear Protective Clothing 

Pollen is sticky. It floats in the air on the wind, lands on whatever it can, and then sticks. Your hair, your clothing, your skin, all of it is prime location for pollen to stick. 

So one of the things you can do is dress defensively against the pollen. Wear hats and tie up your hair. You can also use fewer hair products to make your hair sticky (think things like hair spray or hair gel). Try wrapping your hair in a scarf as you walk in and out of buildings. 

Sunglasses can help prevent pollen from blowing into your eyes. 

Wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants can also help prevent any pollen from landing directly on the skin. 

If you have any outer wear, coats, jackets, scarves, hats, etc, make sure that you wash them on a weekly basis as well to help remove any buildup of pollen. 

Finally, if the pollen count is high and you will be spending some time outdoors, try wearing a mask over your nose and mouth. This helps prevent any pollen from getting in your nose and lungs. 

A close up of a shower head with water running.
Turning on the shower to wash off the pollen.

Nightly Shower Routine 

One of the best things to do at the end of the day is to shower at night to remove any pollen from your hair and skin. Then, pollen won’t get on your pillows and it won’t be in your hair so that you won’t be breathing it in all night long. 

If you have extra itchy skin, try taking an oatmeal bath. The oatmeal is super soothing to the skin. 

Tip! If you are allergic to gluten, you can still take an oatmeal bath. Make your own oatmeal powder by throwing certified gluten free oats in a cheesecloth bag and placing it in the warm water. 

Just as you should wash your hair and body every day, you should also remove any clothes you’ve worn outside and change into clean clothes when you get home. 

Change Bedding Frequently 

Bedsheets and pillows are some of the most used things in our homes. Changing and washing the bedding at least weekly is a great way of reducing indoor allergens in particular. 

If you have a lot of allergy problems, try to change at least the pillowcases every other day. This way you have a clean pillowcase so your skin isn’t irritated and there is no pollen buildup on the pillow that you are breathing in each night. 

Keep the House Clean 

While spring cleaning the house, you want to make sure that you aren’t making things worse by using products that can trigger your allergies. 

Use products that are rated safe by the Allergy and Asthma Network. DIY products can be good, but some things like essential oils can be dangerous if you have allergies or asthma, as well as if you have any pets like birds or cats who are sensitive to smells. 

On my shop page, I have some of my favorite allergy friendly cleaning products that I use on a daily and weekly basis and have done so for years! 

Increase Fruit Consumption 

In a study done on how to naturally reduce the number of allergy, asthma, and eczema attacks, they have found that an increase in fruits and vegetables with high antioxidants (5+ vegetables and 2+ fruit servings a day) actually decreased the number and severity of attacks in only 2 weeks!

So a really easy way to help is to simply eat more whole food fruits and vegetables. 

Add Nutritional Yeast 

Another easy food to add to your diet to help is a spoonful of nutritional yeast every day. Sprinkle it over top of pizza and pasta dishes, add it to cheese sauces, or try it in some dairy free nacho cheese! Adding just a spoonful a day was shown to reduce the number and severity of allergy attacks, especially for people who suffer from ragweed allergies.

A honey bee with legs covered in pollen is flying towards a flower.
A honeybee covered in pollen.

Try Local Honey 

For a long time, there has been an old wives tale about the consumption of local honey to reduce seasonal allergies. The reasoning being that the bees make honey from local plants, so you can eat a spoonful of honey to slowly introduce the pollen to your body. Think of it like a tasty allergy shot! 

Interestingly, there are relatively few studies done on the effectiveness of this method. This study did prove that a tablespoon of local honey a day, once a day for 30 days, did show an improvement in seasonal allergies. Specifically, nasal blockage, nasal drip, nasal itchiness, and sneezing were improved with the use of local honey. So if you are not vegan, this is something you could consider! 

A field of brightly colored flowers on a bright blue and sunny day.
A brightly lit field of flowers.

Proactive Gardening 

Finally, let’s talk about bugs. When the flowers start to bloom, the bees, wasps, and even mosquitoes start to arrive. 

It is just as important to try and keep them out of your yard and garden to reduce the risk of bug allergies. 

Plant things that bees and wasps are generally not attracted to, basically plants that don’t flower, aren’t smelly, or brightly colored. You’ll have to check with your local nursery for the best plants in your area. 

Keep mosquitoes away with the use of low powered fans and screens. 

Finally, make sure to attract bugs that are helpful but don’t generally cause issues, like ladybugs and butterflies. This will help the wildlife in your area while still keeping you safe. 

One final note for gardening, if you know that you have a plant you are super allergic to (a type of grass, a type of tree, a certain flower) don’t plant them in your yard and don’t keep them in your house. 

For a list of safe houseplants to enjoy, check out my indoor houseplant article.

If you enjoyed this article, please leave a comment below! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. And if you want more delicious, dietary friendly recipes you can subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook!

More Allergy Articles

Here you will find all my best articles on understanding your allergies. Food allergies, environmental allergies, seasonal allergies, and more are all covered in these articles. Written from a firm grounding in science and backed up by years of living with many allergies.

I love when you share my recipes!

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