Itchy eyes. Scratchy throat. Relentless sneezing. It’s freaking hay fever season, yet again. To avoid ODing on antihistamines, try a few of these tricks to keep your symptoms in check.
1.) Leave your shoes at the door.
You can track pollen and other allergens all over your house. Indoor air pollution levels are already up to five times higher than outdoors, according to the EPA.
2.) Buy an air purifier.
Look for one with a “clean air delivery rate” of at least 350 and a HEPA filter, which traps tiny particles like viruses and smoke.
3.) Shower before bed.
It’ll keep you from rubbing pollen you’ve gathered all day onto your pillow (and then inhaling it at night).
4.) Move your workouts indoors.
Especially if you’re a morning guy—pollen counts are highest between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m. says Fred Pescatore, M.D., author of The Allergy and Asthma Cure.
5.) Bust out the shades.
Maybe Jack Nicholson and Kanye are onto something. “Sunglasses help keep airborne allergens out of your eyes,” explains Pescatore. He suggests wearing them even when it’s cloudy.
6.) Reach for natural remedies.
Take 250 milligrams to 600 milligrams of quercetin (up to three times a day with your meals), Pescatore recommends. The antioxidant helps to block histamine. Other remedies include fish oil and the herbs butterbur and stinging nettle (follow the dosage on the bottle).
7.) Wash your car.
And clean the inside, too. After all, you’re in your vehicle an average of 20 hours per week.
8.) Cut back on sugar and dairy.
Milk and its by-products can increase mucus production, so cutting back when you have symptoms will help you breathe easier. Sugar’s even worse. A single teaspoon of the sweet stuff can hike your body’s inflammation levels and suppress your immune system by more than 50%, says Pescatore.
9.) Try pot.
A neti pot! Some guys may find these teapot-looking remedies a tad bizarre, but they’re astonishingly effective at reducing sinus pressure and flushing out your nasal passages. “They change people’s lives,” Pescatore says. (Also consider squeeze-bottle variations, which can be easier to control.)