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Healthline staffers share their out-of-the-box remedies for clearing congestion, runny nose, and watery eyes.

You don’t have to spend your whole spring and summer sneezing, sniffling, and rubbing your eyes.

When peak allergy season arrives, it can help to have a few tactics for allergy relief up your sleeve — including symptom prevention strategies and lifestyle tweaks.

We partnered with Ricola to share unconventional methods Healthline staffers use to get allergy symptom relief.

This tip requires regularly checking the weather forecast.

“I start my Flonase when I notice the weather forecast consistently calls for mild temps. For me, that means late February or early March. Years ago, I would only need to start it in late March, but spring comes sooner these days!

“My allergist told me that by starting it 2 weeks before everything buds, you’re creating a maintenance dose so you won’t struggle when [allergy season] hits,” Bezzy Editor Samantha Costa said.

Partner Tip

Ricola Throat Balm is formulated with pectin to soothe everyday minor throat discomfort and protect your throat from further irritation.

The drop is made with 10 Swiss Alpine Herbs, flavors of caramel, and real fair trade honey.


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“Your hair and skin collect pollen and dust during the day that transfer to your bedding at night and perpetuate exposure,” Healthline Product Manager Maggie Brown explained. ”Sleeping with clean skin, hair, and bedding can help seasonal allergies in combination with other simple practices, so keep your bedding very clean!”

Costa agrees and said she uses zippered allergen- and dust-mite-proof mattresses and pillow covers. Managing Editor Nadia Harris also makes sure her skin is clean throughout allergy season.

”I’m usually a one-shower-a-day kind of person, but when I have the itchy scratchies [my eyes, ears, nose, and throat become super irritated], I sometimes shower two to three times a day. The heat from the shower helps soothe the irritation in the same way hot drinks do, but I also think it helps get the pollen and other allergens off of my skin.”

Cough drops often include ingredients like menthol and peppermint. If you’re someone who gets an itchy or irritated throat when your allergies kick in, the combination can be soothing.

”Warm drinks like tea help soothe my throat,” Harris explained. ”I always have tea packets and cough drops in my mini tote, and sometimes, I even go so far as carrying lemons to add a little razzle-dazzle.

Did you know your pet’s diet might affect how much dander they produce?

”About a year ago, at the recommendation of my allergist, I began feeding my cats Purina Pro Plan Live Clear dry food. It’s supposed to minimize their dander output, and they make it for dogs, too,” Costa explained.

”I did this because our second cat in late 2021 irritated my allergies. I was used to my first cat’s dander, but this was a whole other set of dander.”

About 2 months into the food swap, Costa noticed she wasn’t breaking out in hives or having allergy-related tightness in her chest anymore.

It’s true that this allergy prevention method requires regular trips to a doctor’s office, but for Costa, allergy shots have been a game-changer.

”I’m on a monthly maintenance allergy shot schedule. I see my allergist once a year, and the shots have significantly improved my outdoor allergies. I used to struggle so much as a child. I wish I started them 20-plus years ago.”

If your usual allergy meds aren’t cutting it, it might help to combine them with another antihistamine.

Associate Editor Emery Wright said she takes Pepcid (famotidine) with her other allergy medications at her doctor’s recommendation to help with allergy-related hives.

Quick safety tip: Before you double up on allergy meds, consult a healthcare professional. Some medications can interact with each other and may be unsafe to combine.

Living with seasonal allergies can be challenging, but it’s not all doom and gloom. Taking a preventive approach to allergy relief may help you enjoy the spring and summertime warmth without uncomfortable symptoms.

From keeping your bedsheets clean and pollen-free to switching your pet’s food to an allergen-reducing variety, you can limit allergen exposure and prevent allergies from affecting your daily activities.

Still dealing with unpleasant symptoms? Talk with a healthcare professional about treatment options like allergy shots.