Best Ways To Soothe Allergy Symptoms: Top 5 Tips For The Sniffles, According To Experts

Pesky symptoms like the sniffles or a scratchy throat pop up due to irritants like pollen, pollution, or particles of dust, and can drive us crazy. For those who experience allergy flare ups, the difference between a regular day and one ridden with allergies can be as simple as carelessly leaving a window down during a car ride. We decided to turn to our sources to learn about the top five best ways to soothe allergy symptoms, to ease your mind and body.

Seasonal allergy sufferers might attest that the general public can sometimes be surprisingly callous regarding symptom flare ups or allergy attacks. Can you really fake having seasonal allergies? One in four hay fever sufferers say people who don’t have allergies accuse them of “making it up.” The poll of 1,500 adults, who have the seasonal condition, reveals 19 percent believe those who don’t have hay fever are unsympathetic to their ailments. In fact, 70 percent of sufferers dread the impact of hay fever, with 29 percent taking days off work because their symptoms get so bad. Meanwhile, 29 percent have also had to ditch plans with friends and family and 16 percent have even had to cancel a date because of their severe hay fever symptoms.

Spring is supposed to be the season of rebirth and new beginnings, but anyone with seasonal allergies knows springtime can also be the season of congestion and irritation. While current allergy treatments focus on soothing allergy symptoms after they start, a promising new approach may be able to stop symptoms before they begin in the first place.

Conducted by a team at the University of Central Florida, this research may one day free countless people from common seasonal allergies. Up until now, the vast majority of research and therapies for allergic asthma have focused solely on targeting the inflammatory cytokines in the body that react to allergens, consequently leading to an overproduction of mucus, wheezing, and breathing issues. Hopefully, these promising avenues of research will yield results.

In the meantime, our list of the top five best ways to soothe allergies might help readers get some relief when they need it most. Did we miss your go-to trick? Let us know your favorite tried and true remedies in the comments below!

The List: Best Ways To Soothe Allergy Symptoms, Per Health Experts

1. Saline Nasal Irrigation

Many of our sources recommend this method as a means to literally rinse out irritants like pollen or dust. “A nasal rinse clears mucus from your nose and can ease allergy symptoms. Not only can it reduce nasal drip, but it can also wash out any bacteria or allergies you’ve inhaled,” explains Getwell Urgent Care.

Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Neti Pot
Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Neti Pot

“A 2012 review of 10 studies showed that saline nasal irrigation had beneficial effects for both children and adults with allergic rhinitis, which is often referred to as hay fever,” adds Healthline.

“Sinus rinses are a popular seasonal allergy treatment that you can do at home, working well with antihistamines and nasal sprays. The neti pot may be one of the most recognizable sinus rinse products. A neti pot can be picked up at any local drugstore or online and typically comes with packets to mix with warm, distilled water to create a saltwater solution. Using the pot to pour the solution through your nasal cavities, you can flush out gunk and allergens to reduce swelling and ease symptoms,” offers HealthPartners.

2. Dusting and Vacuuming

A clean and dust-free home can aid in reducing allergies. “Vacuuming helps keep allergens low. But poor quality vacuums could put dust into the air. Look for CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® vacuums. These vacuums have been tested and found to prevent allergens from going back into the air. If you have allergies, wear a mask while doing housework. Use a cloth that is damp or treated with polish for dusting. Leave the house for several hours after cleaning it,” details Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

a robotic vacuum is on the floor next to a couch
A robotic vacuum (Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash)

“Dust piles up quickly and can include a concoction of assorted allergens such as pet dander, mold, and dust mites that could wreak havoc on your allergy symptoms. Prioritizing spring cleaning and dusting your home thoroughly can help you to enjoy spring rather than white-knuckle your way through it,” writes Dedicated Senior Medical Center.

“Keep your home clean. It’s one of the best ways to avoid indoor allergens. But harsh chemicals can irritate your nasal passages and aggravate your symptoms. So make natural cleaners with everyday ingredients like vinegar or baking soda. Use a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter to trap allergens,” adds Web MD.

3. Avoid High Exposure

This tip might seem obvious, but avoiding places with a high concentration of dust, mold, or pollen can greatly reduce allergy symptoms. “When the weather is going to be warm, avoid mowing the lawn yourself and stay away from moldy piles of leaves. People with seasonal allergies also should avoid irritants such as strong chemicals and pollution,” according to UC Davis Health.

macro photography of white-petaled flowers
Pollen shaking off of a flower (Photo by Alex Jones on Unsplash)

“It’s a gorgeous day. But if the pollen count is high, keep the windows and doors closed to protect your indoor air. You can also install a HEPA filter on your air-conditioning system and a flat or panel filter on your furnace,” explains Web MD.

Another source offers some common-sense tips. “To reduce your exposure to the things that trigger your allergy signs and symptoms (allergens): Stay indoors on dry, windy days. The best time to go outside is after a good rain, which helps clear pollen from the air. Avoid lawn mowing, weed pulling and other gardening chores that stir up allergens. Remove clothes you’ve worn outside and shower to rinse pollen from your skin and hair. Don’t hang laundry outside — pollen can stick to sheets and towels. Wear a face mask if you do outside chores,” according to Mayo Clinic.

4. Showering and Washing Up

Having a clean home and good personal hygiene have been shown to reduce the effects of certain irritants. “Shower in the evening to wash the pollen off before bedtime. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hair. The steam from the shower is sometimes beneficial in relieving symptoms,” offers Norton Healthcare.

Man washing his face, taking shower or bath
Man washing his face, taking shower or bath (© Wayhome Studio – stock.adobe.com) 

“When you return home from outdoor activities, remove your outer layers and shoes before entering your home. Once inside, wash your skin and hair to remove as much pollen as possible and put your clothes in the washing machine. This may seem excessive, but it may help you get through allergy season with less aggravating symptoms if you make it a habit,” claims Getwell Urgent Care

“Clean off outdoor pollen residues: After being outside on high-pollen days, shower to wash away pollen and put on clean clothes. Use saline nasal wash to help clear allergens from your nose,” recommends UC Davis Health.

5. Clean Pillows and Bedding

Pillowcases or any place where a person rests their head can harbor a build-up of allergens. “After a long day, everyone looks forward to snuggling into their pillow. You know what else loves pillows? Dust mites. The horrifying factoid that pillows and mattresses get heavier over time from dust mites and their droppings? It’s true, says Dr. Sinha. Washable pillowcase dust covers are a must,” states Cedars Sinai.

gray and black throw pillow on bed
A bed (Photo by Nik Lanús on Unsplash)

How often should a person wash their bedding? Once source recommends, “Wash your sheets, blankets and pillowcases in hot or warm water every week or two,” according to HealthPartners.

This information from our sources seems to make sense since a pillow’s allergen concentration has direct contact with a person’s face. “Use zippered allergen-resistant or plastic covers on your pillows, mattresses and box springs. These covers are very effective in controlling your contact with dust mites. Encasing mattresses works better than air cleaners to reduce allergy symptoms. Wash your bedding, uncovered pillows and stuffed toys in water 130 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter each week. Dry them in a hot dryer cycle to kill dust mites,” posits Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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