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How to Ease Seasonal Allergies

Updated on April 28, 2012
Seasonal allergy nose blowing
Seasonal allergy nose blowing | Source

Seasonal Allergy Relief

Before we can ease seasonal allergy symptoms we first need to know what causes them. Seasonal allergies are also referred to as hay fever or seasonal allergic rhinitis. Seasonal allergy symptoms occur during certain times of the year, or certain seasons. Your allergies may be worse in spring when trees and grasses are starting to seed. Your allergies may be worse in the summer when ragweed and pollen are highest. Your allergies may be worse in the fall when leaves land on the ground and trap moisture leading to high mold spores. OR your allergies could be like mine and fall into ALL of the seasons, with some worse than others.

Does this picture make you want to sneeze just looking at it?
Does this picture make you want to sneeze just looking at it? | Source

When a person is in contact with an allergen the immune system releases chemicals, including histamine, into the bloodstream in an attempt to defend against that allergen. The release of the chemicals causes allergy symptoms. The allergy symptoms can mimic those of a cold and it can often be hard to differentiate between the two. However, if you develop cold symptoms every year around the same time chances are good it’s actually a seasonal allergy.

Seasonal allergy symptoms can vary in severity depending on a person’s exposure to the allergen and on a person’s immune system’s response to the allergen. Often the symptoms are sneezing, coughing, itchy nose and throat, congestion, runny nose and itchy or watery eyes. Itchy, watery eyes could turn into allergic conjunctivitis, an inflammation of the eyes. Wheezing and shortness of breath may also be present if the allergy has turned into asthma.

Medication can help ease allergy symptoms
Medication can help ease allergy symptoms | Source

There is no cure for seasonal allergies but it is possible to relieve the symptoms. The first and best method of minimizing allergy symptoms is to remove the source of the allergen or minimize exposure to it. During allergy season keep windows closed, use an air conditioner if possible, and stay indoors when pollen counts are high. A pollen count measures how much pollen is in the air to help people with seasonal allergies determine how bad symptoms will be. Pollen counts are usually higher in the morning and on warm, dry, breezy days. Many people plan outdoor activities around their local pollen count. A local pollen count can usually be found on your local news website under the weather heading. If you are unable to stay inside during high pollen count times you can still reduce symptoms by washing your hands and face often and by changing clothes and taking a shower once you will stay inside. Washing and changing will remove the allergen from your body. Medicines can also be prescribed or taken over the counter to minimize symptoms. A medicine containing anti-histamine is best since the symptoms are caused largely in part to the histamine released by your immune system. Decongestants and steroid based nose sprays are other options for treating seasonal allergy symptoms. If symptoms cannot be managed your doctor may recommend regular allergy shots, also called immunotherapy. The allergy shots contain a small dose of your allergen that is steadily increased over time so you can build immunity to it. The idea is to desensitize you to your specific allergens, not to cure you of them.

A Funny Song About Allergies!

Allergy skin test
Allergy skin test | Source

I have seasonal allergies and indoor allergies. I am allergic to just about everything on Earth; grass, trees, flowers, mold, cats dogs, horses, pigs, roaches, dust, dairy, and other less common things. Wow – right? And yes, I said roaches. I went for an allergy test several years back. The test consisted of 30 spikes tipped with different allergens that just barely punctured the skin on my arms. The doctor and nurse were very shocked that I had an allergic reaction, a raised, red bump, where all 30 spikes entered my skin. To make things easier the doctor only noted my strongest reactions – one of them being the roach. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been around roaches so that doesn’t mean much to me. But I love animals and the outdoors. So how do I cope? Well, I suck up the symptoms as much as I can, I take allergy medicine all year long, I minimize my exposure to my worst allergens, and I treat the symptoms as I get them.

Mowing grass kicks up grass seed, a common seasonal allergy
Mowing grass kicks up grass seed, a common seasonal allergy | Source

When I have to mow the lawn I wear goggles to cover my eyes and I wear a mask so I don’t breathe in the pollen and grass seeds. I take half a dose of Children’s Benadryl after mowing to combat the release of extra histamines on top of the allergy pill I took for the day. I also immediately bag up my mowing clothes and shower to remove the allergen from my person. I make sure to wash my eyebrows and eyelashes with baby shampoo to remove any lingering pollen. A little personal secret - after my shower I apply under eye moisturizer to the skin around my eyes since it doesn’t produce its own moisture. The baby shampoo is gentle but it’s still meant to clean and that could leave the skin around your eyes a little dry or irritated. I use this same method when raking leaves because fall is my worst allergy season.

Are you allergic to me or something?
Are you allergic to me or something? | Source

When dealing with animals I just can’t help myself. I still have to cuddle with them, pet them, and play with them. It’s a sad state really. My sneezing scares away the cats and my coughing makes the dogs bark. To minimize the symptoms of pet allergies I wash my hands every single time I interact with the pet. While I am playing with, holding, or petting the pet I DO NOT touch my face until I’ve washed. If I find I am covered in pet hair I change immediately. Believe it or not, I actually have a special towel I place on my lap for my cat to sit on while I hold him. I wash the towel frequently and it saves me from changing my clothes 5 times a day. I keep my pets well brushed so shedding is kept to a minimum. My kids enjoy this chore so I push it off on them. I also do not let my pets in my bedroom. Cats and dogs love pillows and the last thing an allergy sufferer needs is to sleep on a pillow covered in his or her allergen!

I keep my house dusted, usually courtesy of one of my family members since dusting bothers me really bad. It’s amazing how much kids love feather dusters. I also use an indoor HEPA filter all year. I have one on my heater that works through the housing vents and I have a portable one that travels the house with me. I rarely open the windows to my house, but when I do I leave the portable air filter by the window to clean the air as it comes in. During my worst allergy season I run the portable air filter next to my bed at night to help me sleep without congestion and constant sneezing.

Do You Have Seasonal Allergies

Do you have seasonal allergies?

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When the congestion and raw eyes do get to be too much I run a wash rag under very hot water, wring it out, and lay it across my sinuses and eyes. The heat usually breaks up some of the congestion and it feels great to my sore eyes.

To deal with coughing and shortness of breath during my worst allergy season I move my exercise indoors and I drink an excess of water. The water helps wash down the congestion and the cool drink soothes my sore throat. I use throat lozenges or cough drops to relieve coughing and sore throat. I also have an inhaler that calms the wheezing from my allergies if I should let myself get too worked up while outside.

Some seasons are worse than others from year to year depending on the weather. Usually I can relieve my symptoms easily enough that my allergies don’t dictate my life. For those years that my allergies are out of control and I can’t find relief on my own I visit my doctor begging for something, anything to help me out. She then offers me a shot that lasts for about 3 months, just long enough to get me through the season. It’s a steroid so I cannot take it year after year. Thankfully I only ever need it every 3 or 4 years.

Allergies are an inconvenience for many people but the symptoms can be relieved. The days and nights of suffering may seem endless but remember a seasonal allergy is just that – seasonal. So minimize exposure, relieve symptoms, and wait for the next season to start.

Thank you for taking the time to read. If you have ideas or methods for relieving allergy symptoms please leave them in the comments below to help other sufferers. Your feedback is encouraged!


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    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Neverland

      Oooh Casey, you aren't alone! Sadly I know exactly what you're talking about with the weekly allergy shots. Except I lost my insurance halfway through the treatments and had to stop. Doh! I hope you're getting some relief now with cooler weather heading in.

    • caseymel profile image

      Melanie Casey 

      7 years ago from Indiana

      Thanks! I have severe allergies too. I'm like a walking pharmacy of allergy medications and I get allergy shots weekly. It's good to see that I'm not the only one!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Thanks Daisy, and I appreciate the share! You breathed life back into this dead old thing :) I’ll be honest and admit that I didn’t have to do much research since I’ve dealt with severe allergies all my life…blah.

      Hi Millionaire Tips :)It stinks to have indoor and outdoor allergies – where do you go?! You’re under attack in and out. And as for cleaning and not cleaning I can't help but laugh – Im sorry! But I know just what you mean :P

      Hi joelipoo :) You’re a genius! I HAVE heard about using the local honey daily to build your tolerance to local pollens. Why didn’t I add more info on that?! Okay, now you are the savior for mentioning it. Thank you!

      Kelleyward :)Poor hubby! The awful thing is that allergy sufferers aren’t even getting the winter relief we normally get because the weather is being so goofy this year.

      Hello Mr Poppell :) Great to see you again! Oooh allergies AND a deviated septum. I have heard about that…sinus issues galore, right? I don’t envy you at all. Im glad you appreciate the song (that IS what you meant by having it in your head right?!) – I went through some REALLY bad ones before I found one good enough for here.

      Alecia, that’s so sad! I never want to hear someone else has bad allergies. And now you lost your winter’s break from the pollens and what-nots! What’s up with this year anyway? OH and you have the food allergies. Ugh girl, you need help STAT. Do you carry an epi-pen? (Thanks about the new pic)

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      7 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I am starting to struggle due to this severely mild winter but like you it never ends. I've had that horrendous test and the only thing I wasn't allergic to were dogs. I'm also allergic to some shellfish and all nuts but those didn't flare up until I became of age but like you it's a never ending battle. Some days I'd rather get in a fight than have a runny nose. Great hub and very well written Ardie! P.S.: You're new profile pic's awesome!

    • JamesPoppell profile image


      7 years ago

      Another great hub Ardie. I thought I was the only one who had a dog that barked every time I coughed, lol. I have really bad allergies, and on top of that I have a deviated septum, which makes it worse. Also, that song is in my head so I will be hearing it every time I have allergies. I appreciate this hub and the research you did on it. Thanks and a definite vote up.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Ardie loved it! My poor husband is having difficulty right now with allergies. Love your new pic also! Great hub! Voted up and shared!

    • Joelipoo profile image


      7 years ago from Ohio

      I have bad seasonal allergies and only make it worse on myself by being outside all the time. However, I will rather deal with the allergies than suffer by being inside all summer long. I know how you feel with that; except I think you have it worse off than I do. One thing I have found that helps is having a tea-spoon full of local honey each day. It helps to calm down the allergies related to pollens. Thanks for SHARING!

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      I feel for you, and am sorry you have to deal with this year around. I do too - I am allergic to dust as well as some of the other things you mentioned. Cleaning makes my allergies go wild, so does not cleaning - it is no win situation. Thanks for the tips - I didn't know you could get a steroid shot. Good to have another quiver in the arsenal.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 

      7 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)


      As someone who has had allergic rhinitis ("hayfever") since childhood, I really appreciate the time you put into researching and writing this very informative article.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Rochelj, I feel so BAD for you! Just when I thought I had it rough you make me grateful I don't have a deviated septum...which in turn leads to more sinus issues - poor thing. I hope you've discovered some of your own ways to minimize your suffering.

    • rochelj profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      I also have seasonal allergies, and on top of that I have a deviated septum and a tendency towards sinus congestion/infections, which exacerbates the symptoms of the allergies. I've tried so many things, but still not sure of the best solution. Good luck to all of us, and thank you for this information.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Thanks lexi! I know Im suffering pretty good with my allergies right now. Fall is beautiful but man - my nose is itchy :) Thanks for stopping in

    • lexikaye6671277 profile image


      7 years ago from Clarksville,Tn.

      GREAT INFO ARDIE!!! I'm always looking for new idea's to help with these awful " Allergy's Thanks!! Hope you are having a great day!

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr Carlotta Boles 

      7 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      GREAT ADVICE!!! WOW! Voted-UP!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Prasetio - thank you for stopping in! If you have allergies I hope this helps you find some relief :) Thank you for the vote too.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      This was useful information for us. I love your tips and I learn much from you. Thanks for share with us. Vote up!

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Haunty, you are SO lucky to have mild allergies. Sometimes I wonder if it'd be easier to list what I'm not allergic to rather than the other way around :)

      Winter is indeed a huge reprieve for those with seasonal allergies. The first good frost kills anything that would create allergens. But if it warms right back up the mold spores go right back up. None of my kids have my allergies and I'm so happy about that.

    • Haunty profile image


      7 years ago from Hungary

      I don't think I've ever heard of anything like this. You have to have preventive procedures for everything! I don't think the article is too long, because every bit of this information belongs here. You have shared invaluable tricks on how to ease and prevent seasonal allergy symptoms. My allergies are very mild, but if they get worse, I will know exactly where to go for advice.

      So can we say that we have identified at least one thing why you are looking forward to winter? Please, note that I'm an outsider and I'm only hoping that winter is maybe one season that's not so hard on allergy sufferers. Am I being naïve?

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Thanks jenubouka! I've noticed my allergies can fluctuate with my hormones (tmi?) but have gotten better as I age...maybe because I know how to deal with them better?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Great use of information on the topic, thank you for sharing your personal information about allergies, it helped me understand more about the how's and why's. I have noticed that my allergies have increased with my age. Lovely.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Excellent advice AA Zavala!! I actually have heard the neti pot is GREAT for sinus and allergy problems - but I'll admit I forgot all about it. That's why the comments section is so valuable here :) Thank you for sharing your tip!

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I use a neti pot and irrigate my sinuses with saline solution. As a result, I haven't had a sinus infection in five years. Thank you for sharing.

    • Ardie profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Neverland

      Huh, three hubs in one? Is it too long? LoL Thanks for stopping in and reading :D

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      7 years ago from New York

      Come on! Ardie you put 3 hubs in one! Nicely done and the research is awesome.Thanks for sharing!



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