Health | Did You Know

15 Genius Ways To Protect Yourself From Summer Allergies

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If someone says you have hay fever, it just means you have some kind of pollen allergy.

You could be allergic to tree, grass, and/or weed pollen.

Pollen is necessary because it's the plant's seed that gets carried in the wind to create more of itself.

It's strange to think nature is making us feel ill, but some people's bodies are more sensitive to pollen than others.

Symptoms of hay fever include itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, a scratchy throat, swollen face, and congestion.

We all know medication can mitigate these symptoms, but there are other ways to protect and prevent yourself from hay fever.

After learning these 15 summer allergy hacks, when hay fever says hey, you say nay!

1. Know yourself

First and foremost, figure out what kind of pollen you're allergic to. To do this, go visit your doctor so that he or she can create an effective treatment plan that caters to your needs.  

Once you figure that out, try to avoid the plant you're allergic to the most.

If you're allergic to all kinds of pollen, find creative ways to be active in the summer while being indoors. For example, instead of going for a morning jog or an afternoon hike, go for a swim at an indoor pool.

For more enjoyable summers, try to keep a diary of your symptoms and when they occur.

When you're equipped with this knowledge, you can prevent your symptoms from getting worse by tackling it early on.

2. Go out in the evening

Try to plan outdoor activities when there's less pollen in the air to minimize your allergy symptoms.

Avoid going out after dawn until late afternoon because pollen counts rise during the morning and peak by noon.

The best time to leave your house is late afternoon to early evening, when pollen counts are low. Did you know plants sleep too?

3. Apply Vaseline

To prevent pollen from rushing into your nose, dab some Vaseline under it.

If you're not bothered by the texture or smell of the petroleum jelly, rub a little bit of it inside each nostril.

The thick ointment will create a protective barrier and trap the pollen so that you can breathe easier.

Make sure you breathe through your nose as much as possible so that you avoid pollen from being inhaled through your mouth.  

4. Clean your pets

Pets bring a lot of icky stuff into our house, especially in the summer.

If you suffer from hay fever, your pets are only making your allergies worse.

Our beloved furry friends bring home a lot of pollen, as it sticks to their thick fur and feet easily.

You should be regularly bathing and brushing your dog or outdoor cat to prevent the pollen on their fur from populating in your home.

5. Clean your home and close the windows

Your home should be a safe space, but it's up to you to make it feel that way.

Try to keep your windows closed all day. If you need to have them open, make sure it's in the evening, and never in the morning or afternoon, when pollen levels are at its peak.

Even if your windows are closed, you should be cleaning your home on a regular basis.

Vacuum your carpets, curtains, and even mattresses.

These next hacks are a life saver!

6. Breathing in steam

Clearing up your sinuses is a difficult task.

If applying some Vicks VapoRub under your nose doesn't do the trick, you'll definitely get results with this classic cold remedy.

Boil a kettle of water, and once it starts steaming, pour it in a bowl and put a towel over your head and breathe in the steam.

Breathe in five times through your nose, inhaling through your mouth, and then five times through your mouth, again inhaling through your mouth.

Do this for at least five minutes until you start to feel less congested. For faster results, keep a bottle of Vicks close by.

Caution: Keep your face at an appropriate distance from the steam to avoid getting burned.

7. Change your clothes

Your clothes can pick up as much pollen as your pets, so make sure you're changing them every time you come home.

If you can, wash them as soon as possible, but don't leave them to dry outside.

Another thing you can do to keep the air in your home free of pollen is to purchase an air purifier.

This way, even if you're careful to change your clothes and clean your home, any rogue particles in the air will be banished by your purifier.

8. Don't drink alcohol

I know what you're thinking, there's nothing better than a cold beer in the summer.

I can't agree with you more, but if you suffer from hay fever and you're trying to mitigate your symptoms, you'll thank yourself for minimizing your alcohol intake.

You see, when your body is suffering from an allergic reaction, it produces histamine, which causes inflammation to fight against the pollen.

Alcohol also produces histamine in your body. And on top of that, alcohol dehydrates your body, which causes your immune system to produce even more histamine.

Do yourself a favor and avoid this recipe for disaster.  

9. Avoid dairy

What's summer without take-out pizza and ice cream?

But you know what's worse than a dairy-free summer? Hay fever.

Unfortunately, dairy increases mucus production in the respiratory tract, so if you're trying to feel less congested, dairy will only make you feel worse.

10. Green Tea

Relieve your symptoms by drinking green tea, hot or cold.

It's not going to make you feel as good as new, but you're going to feel a whole lot better than you did before.

The reason why green tea works so well to combat hay fever symptoms is because these tea leaves have anti-inflammatory properties.

You can also use the teabag as a cold compress to soothe your irritated eyes.

You'll definitely want to keep note of these next hacks...

11. Eat spicy foods

Now is the time to impress your friends and family by eating a spicy chili pepper, while also doing yourself a favor.

Spicy foods will help widen your airways to make it easier to breathe and clear up congestion.

Garlic and turmeric are your go-to vegetable and spice because they have anti-inflammatory properties that will relieve your hay fever symptoms and boost your immune system.

12. Nasal steroids

Over-the-counter nasal spray takes a week to kick in, but having one on you at all times is a life saver.

These nasal steroids will clear up your runny nose and soothe your itchy eyes.

Don't worry, they're safe to take with your antihistamine medication. Just in case, talk to your doctor.

13. Wear sunglasses

If you must leave your house in the morning or afternoon, wear your sunglasses!

Even if the sun is not out and it's just bright, wear them! I can't emphasize enough how much this trick has helped me last summer.

Sunglasses that wraparound are the most effective in keeping the pollen away from your eyes.

This means your eyes will feel less itchy and watery so you don't have to explain to every person you meet why you're crying. We've all been there.

14. Go the beach

Beaches are your favorite place, hay fever sufferers!

If you don't live close to one, try to plan your outdoor getaways somewhere that's close to a beach.  

The sea breeze blows pollen away, so that people who have summer allergies can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy one of the most beautiful places this world has to offer.

15. Wash your hair

You don't need me to tell you that having hay fever every summer sucks.

It seems like you've got to do a million things to mitigate your symptoms, and following every single one can be annoying.

It's hard, but it'll start to feel like routine, and then you're even more prepared for the next summer.

Another thing you should keep in mind is showering every time you come home. If you weren't out for too long or exposed to much pollen, then you should be fine.

Don't forget, the cleaner you are, the better you're going to feel.

Share this article with someone who hates the summer because of hay fever. It's about time they enjoy!

Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.