Spring Allergy Season: Natural & Effective Ways to Prepare

Key Points:

  • Spring allergy season is in full swing, but you can prevent and prepare for allergies with natural support like local honey and bee pollen, herbs like stinging nettle, butterbur, and quercetin, and using high-quality HEPA air filtration in your home. 
  • Since allergies are an immune response and most of your immune system lives in your gut, supporting your gut health is also key to reducing allergy symptoms.

If you’re like most of us, the thought of mild weather and weekend picnics has been on your mind since mid-January. Soon though, the trees will be blooming as one of the most beautiful seasons of the year gets into full swing.

But for allergy sufferers, spring is not quite so enchanting. Stubborn symptoms like sneezing, post-nasal drip, headaches, and itchy eyes keep you from enjoying the fresh air and the beauty of the season.

Table of Contents:

What are Seasonal Allergies?

Seasonal allergies such as spring allergies are caused by an over-reactive immune system. When you breathe in harmless airborne pollen, your immune system attacks it and begins to form antibodies as if it’s a major threat to your well-being. This leads to the release of histamine and the onset of uncomfortable allergy symptoms.

Although there isn’t a cure for spring allergies, there are many ways you can prepare for the allergy season ahead and lighten your symptoms. Everyone deserves to enjoy springtime walks and outdoor activities comfortably.

What’s Different About Allergies in the Spring vs. The Rest of The Year?

For those who struggle with an over-reactive immune system, there can be many triggers and different types of allergies you face. For example, indoor allergies may be caused by pets, dust mites, or airborne toxins like latex and mold. While people who suffer from fall allergies are usually more sensitive to outdoor mold and ragweed.

Spring allergies are typically caused by sensitivity to pollen. Pollen counts can vary throughout the day — but tend to surge in the morning, during a windy day, and can even worsen in the days following a rainstorm.

Due to climate change, pollen is showing up earlier in the spring season — forcing allergy sufferers to spend even more time locked indoors.

When Do Spring Allergies Start?

The onset of spring allergy symptoms depends on your location. Those who live in warmer climates will begin to experience symptoms as early as February and March, while colder climates will see allergy onsets in April and even as late as May.

When Do Spring Allergies End?

Allergies typically end after trees and flowers are in full bloom. Symptoms will likely subside after a couple of weeks — usually in May or as late as July if you live in a colder climate.

Common Allergy Symptoms in Spring

If you are wondering whether you or a loved one suffers from seasonal allergies, here are some spring allergy symptoms to watch out for:

  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Head congestion and sinus pressure
  • Watery eyes
  • Asthma

For an official allergy diagnosis, consult your allergist for a diagnostic skin test. This will give you more information about your sensitivities and how to prevent the onset of future symptoms.

5 Tips on How to Best Prepare for the Spring Allergy Season

The best way to take care of your overall health and fend off pesky allergy symptoms is to take a holistic approach. Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep, staying hydrated, and not overdoing it on stress. Beyond that, there are a few more effective ways to prepare for spring allergy season.

1. Take Allergy Medicine Ahead of Time

If you take allergy medication, make sure you know when spring allergy season starts in your area. You’ll want to begin doses a few weeks before pollen hits its peak. This will help your body prepare and likely reduce overall symptoms.

Similarly, if you opt for a more natural approach like herbal remedies or local honey, make sure you’re taking these year-round or at least a few weeks before the spring allergy season hits.

2. Monitor Local Pollen Counts

A good way to know when spring allergies are starting soon in your area is to check the pollen count in your city. By keeping up with the daily pollen count, you’ll be able to address your spring allergies before symptoms begin.

3. Use Indoor Air Filters

It’s important to have a safe place where you can recharge without worrying about the negative effects common allergens can have on your body. Most homes are fitted with air filtration in their HVAC systems, so make sure you check your filters and replace them when needed. For extra support, you can purchase a HEPA filter to remove pollen and animal dander from your home.

4. Keep Windows Closed

While it’s nice to open the windows and let some fresh air in during the spring, pollen is a common airborne allergen released by trees, grasses, and weeds during spring. When windows are open, pollen can easily enter indoor spaces and circulate throughout the home, leading to increased allergy symptoms. By keeping your home’s windows closed, you are creating a physical barrier that prevents the entry of outdoor allergens by providing a more controlled environment for allergy sufferers.

5. Reduce Indoor Chemical Use

When the body is already functioning in an inflammatory state, adding to the overload with toxic indoor cleaning products can be harmful. If you suffer from spring allergies, you’ll want to ensure that you use clean ingredients around your home. Check the ingredients lists on lotions and body products as well as laundry detergent and regular cleaning products, and switch to more natural versions if necessary.

5 Natural Spring Allergy Remedies

What should you do if you suffer from common allergies?

1. Take Care of Your Gut

We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of the importance of taking care of our gut microbiota. Our bodies are home to thousands of microscopic living organisms that aid in digestion and act as an essential part of our immune system. A healthy gut microbiome works to keep out invasive pathogens, as well as pollen and other toxins. 

Strengthening your gut and increasing your healthy microbiota with probiotics, postbiotics like butyrate, and healthy lifestyle habits can help you breathe easier when allergy season hits.

2. Use Local Honey and Bee Pollen

One of the best natural cures for allergies is local honey. In fact, studies even show that consuming honey can help ease the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. How does it work? Honey allows you to ingest pollen at micro-doses, helping your body form an immunity before allergy season begins. By choosing local honey, you’re allowing your body to adjust to the triggers around you.

We recommend taking a spoonful of honey every day or including small doses of bee pollen in daily smoothies. By adding this to your routine, you’ll boost your immune system for when the real pollen hits.

3. Immune Boosting Herbs and Supplements

Herbs are powerful tools used to reduce inflammation and reverse the histamine response in your body. They can also treat symptoms and provide temporary relief — similar to over-the-counter allergy medications like Zyrtec. By taking herbal supplements and tinctures that include stinging nettle, butterbur, and quercetin, you may experience significant improvement in your symptoms. You can also take comfort in using natural ingredients instead of manufactured drugs.

4. Nasal Irrigation

With nasal irrigation, you use a saline solution to flush the allergens and irritants out of your nasal passages. This process not only clears the nasal passages but can also quickly soothe inflammation for immediate allergy relief. Typically, this simple, drug-free method is done using a product such as a squeeze bottle or neti-pot.

5. Consider Seeking Allergy Shots or Drops

For the most severe allergy sufferers, allergy shots or drops can be a consideration for long-term relief. This method works by slowly desensitizing your immune system to specific allergens. However, factors like high costs, time investment, and no guarantee of long-lasting results, are just some of the downsides to investing in this remedy.

Tackling Spring Allergies Is Possible

If you’ve been diagnosed with spring allergies, the overwhelm of symptoms and treatment is very real. You didn’t ask to be bombarded with a runny nose, sinus headaches, and exhaustion while all your friends are out enjoying the sunshine.

Everyone’s body is different — so the treatments that work for others may not work for you. Treating allergies is about finding balance and learning what works best with your own body.
One way you can lessen the impact of allergies (and potentially increase the impact of both medical and natural remedies) is by stabilizing your gut environment. Butyrate is a great tool to support gut health and help regulate the immune response to allergens.*

Learn more about healing your gut and stabilizing your immune system with BodyBio Butyrate.

References

Bielory, L., & Lupoli, K. (1999). Herbal interventions in asthma and allergy. The Journal of asthma : official journal of the Association for the Care of Asthma, 36(1), 1–65. https://doi.org/10.3109/02770909909065150

Yatoo, M. I., Gopalakrishnan, A., Saxena, A., Parray, O. R., Tufani, N. A., Chakraborty, S., Tiwari, R., Dhama, K., & Iqbal, H. (2018). Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and Herbs with Special Emphasis on Herbal Medicines for Countering Inflammatory Diseases and Disorders - A Review. Recent patents on inflammation & allergy drug discovery, 12(1), 39–58. https://doi.org/10.2174/1872213X12666180115153635

Shukla, S., Shukla, H., Kumar, S., Aharwal, R. P., Gupta, V. K., & Sandhu, S. S. (2013). Allergy and inflammation: an immunological and therapeutic approach. Recent patents on inflammation & allergy drug discovery, 7(2), 135–150. https://doi.org/10.2174/1872213x11307020005

Seidman, M. D., Gurgel, R. K., Lin, S. Y., Schwartz, S. R., Baroody, F. M., Bonner, J. R., Dawson, D. E., Dykewicz, M. S., Hackell, J. M., Han, J. K., Ishman, S. L., Krouse, H. J., Malekzadeh, S., Mims, J. W., Omole, F. S., Reddy, W. D., Wallace, D. V., Walsh, S. A., Warren, B. E., Wilson, M. N., … Guideline Otolaryngology Development Group. AAO-HNSF (2015). Clinical practice guideline: Allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 152(1 Suppl), S1–S43. https://doi.org/10.1177/0194599814561600

D'Amelio, P., & Sassi, F. (2018). Gut Microbiota, Immune System, and Bone. Calcified tissue international, 102(4), 415–425. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00223-017-0331-y

Wright, L. S., & Phipatanakul, W. (2014). Environmental remediation in the treatment of allergy and asthma: latest updates. Current allergy and asthma reports, 14(3), 419. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11882-014-0419-7

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